A Wonder in Woodfords Corner

A new African restaurant called Merveille is under construction in Woodfords Corner at 683 Forest Ave in the space formerly occupied by the Shawarma & Kebab House.

Owner Liliana Mungongo Da Silva is a recent immigrant who originally hails from Angola. Here’s a bit of her personal history shared in her liquor license application.

Indeed, I embraced commerce, trading and business at an early age in Africa. Coming out from a humble family, armed with a very strong will to succeed in life, my beginning was hard. I endured the hardship from selling water in the street to becoming one of the prominent businesswomen in Luanda, Angola. I became a role-model and led many other women into the field of business, traveled to more than 20 countries around the world; due to political unrest, I finally rested my luggages in the USA.

Da Silva’s goal is for Merveille to be “place where people from different cultures can meet and mingle.” Merveille is intended to be a place where Americans can experience a food culture that may be new to them, and where members of the African immigrant community “can easily find their home foods when going to or coming back from work”.

The draft menu includes some regional dishes like fufu, fumbua, bolino de chuva, kikwanga, plantains and casava leaves along with vegetables, salad, and dishes featuring goat, fish and chicken.

Merveille is a French word that appears to mean a ‘wonder’ or ‘marvel’.