If you were out to disabuse the drinking public of the notion that all so-called craft-cocktail bars are tedious, pretentious places with zero potential for cutting loose and having fun — which apparently is the objective of Will Wyatt’s new East Village watering hole, Mister Paradise — you could do worse than putting a Hot Pocket impostor on the food menu. The funny thing is that these pastry puffs are no joke. Unlike the ones you can buy at your local Duane Reade and cook in the microwave for 120 seconds, they require a bit of work. Chef-partner Jeremy Spector spent weeks developing the buttery dough to get it just right — flaky but sturdy. He stuffs his savory Cubano version with pork butt that’s been brined and braised and generally babied for hours like a Thanksgiving turkey. His apple-pie hot pocket, pictured, is less painstaking but equally fun to wash down with the Riot Punch for two, served in a ceramic tiki bowl with flaming citrus fruit on top.
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On the menu at Mister Paradise; $7; 105 First Ave., nr. 6th St.; no phone.
*This article appears in the March 18, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!