O Merveilleux: Marvelous!

Written by on June 10, 2014 in Celebrations, Families and Kids - No comments

An embarrassment of riches…..New York is filled with more wonderful secrets and surprises than any one city should enjoy.   One need only mindfully walk about any neighborhood to find treasures that are hidden in plain view.    Today, I noticed such a spot on my walk in the upper east side:  O Merveilleux!  An absolutely adorable little patisserie, the shop’s specialty is the Belgian Meringue Merveilleux. 

The shop was cheerfully decorated in goldenrod yellow and slate grey and features the most scrumptious delights and specialty desserts—chocolates, cookies, and of course the Merveilleux.  Every inch of the store was creatively and lovingly arranged.  There was a generous seating area where one could enjoy coffee with a friend or sit, in solitude….pretending to be back in Europe, savoring a fabulous sweet and slower pace of life.

The bakery is the creation of Anne-Sophie Diotallevi who came to adore the sweet back in her home in Belgium.  She sentimentally recalls buying the treat with her grandparents, in their neighborhood pastry shop, in Leuven, Belgium. She says “I would look forward to the moment when my spoon would scoop the first layer of whipped cream, which delicately draped the pastry and highlighted the unique flavor of the fine shavings of powerful dark chocolate.  Ah!  The light and crunchy meringue mixes with the subtle taste of the airy whipped cream, married with the character of chocolate…the light texture coupled with the power of the taste, was a real and profound pleasure.” She later enjoyed the dessert in her father’s restaurant in Brussels. 

Over the years, she perfected her recipe and opened her establishment last year—it has already garnered considerable media attention, and was even cited in Oprah’s O Magazine!   Their pastries are made daily in their workshop, which is visible from the seating area.  Offerings include Cramique, the craquelin, the Verviers Cake, the Cougnou, and Couque.   

I must confess that I know little of these fancy European pastries, but I purchased several and happily walked home.   They were truly marvelous….which is, after all, the English translation of “Merveilleux!”

About the Author

Life-Cycle Celebrant Sarah Ritchie respects all faiths. She has received diplomas from the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, USA, where she now serves as a faculty member. Sarah wants to lead the way in creating a ceremony that reflects you, your love, and all the things that you hold most dear in the world. She lives in New York City, but brings along a hospitality that she attributes to her home, Oklahoma. In addition to this work that she adores, she devotes herself to a variety of charities on issues relating to education, children, health, and the arts.

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