Restaurant La Paix could be the perfect stage for a lively brasserie with 100 seats. That is in fact the history of this iconic restaurant, located opposite the slaughterhouse of Anderlecht. However, when Chef David Martin took over the business years ago from his in-laws, he had a vision. La Paix had to evolve, inspire and above all house a fine-dining restaurant with a true identity. And that is what one will discover when visiting restaurant La Paix Today.
The restaurant is housed in a spacious neoclassic corner building in the multicultural area of Anderlecht. The first La Paix Restaurant opened in 1892 and several historic elements are still recognisable in the interior. Today, that interior is a unique mix of modern elements (like the remarkable golden origami artwork on the ceiling) and traditional accents (like the bar). There is a big open kitchen and all tables offer a great view on the chefs at work. In the middle of the restaurant, there is also an aquarium with fresh seafood like spider crab and lobster. These ingredients form an important part of chef David’s kitchen today. The interior is finished by works of art by the likes of Charles Kaisin and Kasper Hamacher.
Chef David Martin fits perfectly into the multicultural surroundings of his restaurant. The chef originally hails from France and is the son of a Spanish father and a mother from Alsace. Both of the families of his parents have a culinary past. David learned the cooking art from some of the greatest chefs on earth, like Frenchman Alain Passard and the Brussels-based Jean-Pierre Bruneau. Restaurant La Paix was originally the restaurant of the parents of David’s wife, before he took over the business in 2004. At the end of 2007, the restaurant was awarded by the Belgian Gault&Millau guide as Brasserie of the year 2008 with a score of 16/20 points. In November 2015, Gault Millau increased the score to 17 points, and the Michelin guide crowned the chef with one star in 2009. At the end of 2010, Martin also became a supervising head of the brasserie of the BOZAR, the arts center of Brussels. Today, he also manages several other restaurants and is slowly building a restaurant imperium in Belgium.
Initially, David Martin’s kitchen focused mainly on quality meat preparations with an emphasis on great-quality products. He became famous with his modern interpretations of classic brasserie dishes in a superior way. Accurately selected top products and excellent meat played a central role. When matured meat was not yet known, they served the best selection at La Paix. Afterwards, a very refined influence of Japanese cuisine followed. Without exaggeration, Martin knows how to take his dishes to a higher level. Today, he allows his classic base to evolve in a balanced way with his new vision and several international influences. This results in a very interesting kitchen that focuses more and more on great seafood.
The menu at La Paix is compact and focuses on dishes that are executed to perfection. Like the tartar of Gambero Rosso, with a sauce from coral-heads, Belgian Platinum caviar, green asparagus, and lemon. Or the delicious ‘tartelette’, with a pastrami of the milk calf from Corrèze, whelks, Parmesan, and ricotta. As a main course, don’t forget to try to sun fish baked in vineyard leaf. A stunning dish! And do save some room for the desserts, such as the wonderful millefeuille pastry with vanilla from La Réunion, baked apples and Yubeshi ice cream.
David’s cuisine is a unique combination of refined yet powerful food, combining local as well as worldly influences. Beautiful combinations with a lot of depth will overwhelm you, dish after dish. A creative refined cooking style with dishes that surprise, have a soul and taste for more.
Chef David Martin
Written by Sven & Frank