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Portage Tap House
Laura Reynolds has been coming to the Rangeley area since the 70s. It’s no surprise that she would choose the region, a four-season jewel of Vacationland, as a new home when she retired and moved there full-time with her husband Paul six years ago. What was sur- prising was, having never been in the business before, the decision that the couple made to become restau- rant owners when they built and opened the Portage Tap House in the center of downtown Oquossuc last year. “We decided to do it for the community when we saw some other eateries closing or reducing their hours,” Laura said of the decision. For Paul, the vi- sion started around a love for beer, and a decision to include beer as a focus. Beer lovers will rejoice in their offering of 20 beers on tap, which include 18 Maine beers spanning diverse styles.
The couple wanted to create a meeting place for locals, and built a spacious tavern with high ceilings, where canoes hang upside down with lights suspended
from them. Abundant windows bathe the interior in natural light, showing off the clean lines of the new building, with its polished, yet comfortable interior. A garage door rolls up into a wall to link the pub’s din- ing room to a spacious patio to enjoy outdoor dining.
Pizza with fig jam, prosciutto, and arugula? Yes, please!
The menu features elevated bar food and changes sea- sonally, but is anchored by delicious wood-fired pizza and their popular wings, also baked in the pizza oven. A talented mixologist tends the bar, creating seasonal cocktails, and pouring pints of craft beer.
Chef Jamie Doyon has worked in kitchens for all his life, spending over 30 years cooking everything, from burgers and comfort food, to gourmet cuisine. He holds a passion for well-prepared food and consisten- cy, knowing that when customers establish a favorite from the menu, it is a consistently great taste experi- ence that will keep them coming back. When asked if he leans toward any certain style of food, Jamie said, “I love to cook anything and everything.” The Reyn- olds have worked with Jamie to put together a menu that offers familiar foods prepared with interesting twists, like their baby back ribs with blueberry bar- becue sauce; pizza with garlic, fresh herbs and clams; or the mussels with Thai coconut sauce featured here. The dish offers the familiar allure of quintessential Maine seafood, but prepared in a way that is a little exotic, yet totally approachable. Tender, flavorful Maine mussels are simmered in a creamy, spicy sauce. Sambal, an Indonesian chili paste, provides a heat that will satisfy spice lovers, but is not overwhelming.
 Maria Yanni

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