The Hippo


Aug 22, 2019








Paradise North Restaurant in Merrimack. Courtesy photo.

Paradise North 

Where: 583 Daniel Webster Highway, Unit 3, Merrimack
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 8 p.m. 
Call: 262-5886

A taste of Paradise
Tropical tapas restaurant opens in Merrimack

By Angie Sykeny

 A regular night-out becomes an island getaway at Paradise North, a new tropical-themed tapas restaurant opened last week in Merrimack.

The restaurant offers upscale small plates inspired by a variety of cuisine styles, a raw bar, signature cocktails and more in a casual, social atmosphere with regular live music. 
“I became interested in the tapas-style meals in southern Europe and Spain when I was travelling,” owner Steve Mastrangelo said. “I wanted to take the concept and put together an Americanized version of it, with some of the different world cuisines mixed in.” 
Mastrangelo previously worked in the high-tech software business but always dreamed of opening a restaurant. He’s been developing the idea for Paradise North and experimenting with different recipes for the last 20 years and decided that this year it was finally time to make his dream a reality. He recruited his brother-in-law Al Wilsey from Tennessee to be his executive chef, and together they launched the restaurant with a soft opening late last month. 
The menu features house-made breads, fresh salads and soups, rotisserie cooking and a seafood raw bar with shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell. Its large selection of tapas includes different kinds of empanadas, such as salami and cheese and prime rib and veggies; hand-sized pizzas like onion-and-black olive, chicken-bacon-ranch and pulled pork pizzas; sliders with rotisserie meats, including prime rib, chicken and lamb; and salmon frites, Italian toast with maple syrup, lamb ravioli and cheese boards. 
“People seem to be more and more interested in the small courses and eating lighter,” Mastrangelo said. “It’s a great way to put a meal together if you’re hungry, or to have just as appetizers with some drinks.”
There’s also a small selection of full-plate entrees which includes rotisserie-roasted prime rib, braised short ribs, chicken francaise and rotisserie-roasted lamb. For dessert, there’s chocolate mousse, yogurt and fruit, Italian cookies and key lime pie in a glass. 
The drink menu features signature cocktails like the Paradise Rum Runner, made with three rums and a secret blend of liqueurs and juices, and the Paradise North Sangria, also made with a secret recipe; and signature martinis and Manhattans like the Paradise Pom, make with Stoli Blueberi Vodka, pomegranate juice and fresh squeezed lemon juice, topped with club soda and a lemon twist. It has a variety of wines, bottled beers and hard ciders and six taps with New Hampshire and New England craft brews. There’s also a selection of coffees and hot drinks with liquor, including the Green Mountain by the Fire, made with coffee, Vermont Ice Maple Cream Liqueur and Stoli Vodka; and the Rumplemint Paddy, made with hot chocolate, Rumple Minze Peppermint Liqueur and creme de cacao. 
Paradise North seats about 50 people and is adorned with tropical decor and local artwork for sale. Thursday through Saturday, there is live acoustic music by local musicians, including Mastrangelo, who is a musician himself. 
“I’ve always liked the tropics and the Caribbean, so I wanted to bring an atmosphere like that here,” he said. “People say it has a good feel to it and that it’s a fresh and relaxing atmosphere, and that was the whole point.” 
Moving forward, Mastrangelo said he’s looking to add Sunday brunch service, and to host wine and beer tastings and paint nights. Eventually, he’d like to open a second location of Paradise North. 
“I feel like it’s a franchisable concept,” he said. “The combination of the tapas with the signature drinks, the atmosphere and the entertainment — a restaurant with all those elements is pretty unique around here.”

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