Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Smooth Sailing for Paragon Tap & Table

After a September "shakedown cruise" which helped this establishment gain its "sea legs," Paragon Tap & Table seems to have found a safe harbor in Clark.

Lured by Michael DeSimone's promise of Oktoberfest Beers and a special 5 PM cask tapping of Ramstein's excellent Marzen, I headed into the place at about 4:45. The bar area had plenty of available seats, both at the bar and at the tables. Twenty-one colorful taps beckoned to the Beer Nut.

First Pour!
So I sidled up to watch Mike tap that bunghole, a task which he carried out with great facility, though not much fanfare. Not that fanfare for this beer was necessary. There's a reason why gave it a 97, and the proof was in the drinking. I was honored to have the first glass of this outstanding example of the style, and by the time I had finished half of it, those empty seats were almost all filled, keeping bartenders Paige, Dana and Craig moving.

Twenty-one superb beers are on the PT&T draft menu, and the bottled collection brings the total to over 60. Paige, on board for just two weeks, handed me my Ramstein very nicely.


Even nicer, happy hour prices were in effect. While the beers are what drew me, I also recalled how delicious Chef Eric LeVine's food was at the soft opening, and I got ten absolutely tender and delicious wings for just $6. Half were of the "Beer Glazed" variety, and the other half were called "Seven Dusted," being dusted with seven spices.

To accompany those wings, Craig Schiedlo poured me an Ommegang Scythe and Sickle Harvest Ale which complemented those wings perfectly. Craig, usually assigned to the Morristown Tap and Grill was featured in my blog post about the soft opening.


He is the quintessential server: friendly, efficient and very beer knowledgeable; and apparently his higher-ups recognized his value in the new digs. So he has been re-assigned to PT&T. Good move, management.

The PubScout was further rewarded with a surprise hug and kiss from a gorgeous chef, and then bartender Dana proffered a Weyerbacher Autumnfest. It was also very good, and encouraged good conversation at the bar with an old friend, Larry, and a new friend, Larissa.

By the time I headed out, the place was packed and in full swing, which included live entertainment. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, including those behind the bar.

I predicted in my last column about Paragon Tap & Table that it would have a long honeymoon.

I love being right.

The PubScout

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