Move over, pavlova. There’s a new confection in town, recently imported from France by way of Belgium — the merveilleux.
Merveilleux resemble cute, confetti-dusted snowballs, but they’re actually marvelous treats, built delicately, but not too fussily, of wafer-size meringue cookies and a mound of whipped cream. Aux Merveilleux de Fred (37 Eighth Avenue; 917-475-1992), the solo U.S. outpost of a small European chain, turns out six different flavors of merveilleux out of a petite shop in the West Village.
While you’d be equally rewarded if your taste veered toward the original, dark Belgian chocolate version (chocolate whipped cream, rolled in shaved chocolate), it’s the L’Eccentrique — amarena-cherry-flavored merveilleux — that stand out. One or two all-in bites of this assemblage deliver a pleasurable mixture of fluffed, sweetened cream and bits of crunchy-to-caky textured meringue, laced with the grown-up, almond-like essence of Italian amarena cherries. The garnish, a candy-crunch shower of Pink Panther–colored sprinkles, brings everything together like a bouquet of tea roses in Marie Antoinette’s updo.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.