La Paix, Brussels, 4/28/17

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building

La Paix is nice sized space dominated by a metal origami bird sculpture hanging from the ceiling.   The small tables are widely spaced and ended by additional wooden cabinets where serving dishes can be placed and a purse or jacket stored on the shelves below.  The room has approximately 8 tables, a high ceiling, bright lighting, windows looking out on the street on 2 sides, a bar on one side and an open kitchen taking up the last wall.  Chef David Martin and his wife Nathalie Obbiet who runs the front end took over the place in 2004.  They are only open on Friday night, they are mainly a lunch spot.  Located right across from a market they have a seafood tank containing some huge crabs and other live seafood.  

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Sign with bird

Service is very helpful and friendly, which is good as the menus are not translated into English.  They offer tastings of 3, 5, or 7 courses as well as a la carte options.  We were meat hungry and with the waiters advice ordered no first course, hoping to have room for dessert.  He was right on.

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interior
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bar
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open kitchen
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bird sculpture
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cool floor
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Frankie played on the sound activated trash can
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table set up
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Frankie checked out the gin and tonic ingredients
menu cover
menu cover
tasting menu
tasting menu
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A la carte menu
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A la carte menu 2

 

Tables are brought crusty, doughy, fresh cut baguette bread and a selection of butters – plain, rosemary and mushroom flavored.  The mushroom was a fun twist on the usual.

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bread
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butters
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inside bread
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Frankie admired the glasses

 

An amuse of mackerel covered with greens contained fresh herbs and pistachio as well a dot of black olive on the top.  The fish was well mixed and so not too strong.  The olive was a good addition – a nice mixture of flavors.

Mackerel with lavage
Mackerel with greens
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closer
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inside
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wine
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Nathalie Obbiet and Frankie

 

A second amuse of oyster, watercress and eggplant was a smooth puree with a crispy top.  It was not just delicious, it was fun to eat too.

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Oyster, watercress and eggplant
closer
closer
inside
inside
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Frankie liked the labeled knife

 

For a main course we had the Côte de boeuf Simmental de Baviére de “la maison Lesage” for 2.  It was cooked a perfect rare and garnished with a consommé of beef and a bit of salt.  Served with a churro of potato and a side of white asparagus and other vegetables (spinach, carrots) from their garden.  There was also a dish of the rib meat, well cooked, on top of some sweet carrots.  The meat was tender and tasty but the vegetables were exceptional, fresh and nicely cooked.  A classic meal done well.

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beef with potato churro before sauce
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with sauce
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side vegetables
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Carrots and rib meat
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Fabio Ciudad Cabras and Frankie
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chef in his kitchen
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seafood in the tank
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crabs in the tank

 

For dessert our helpful waiter Fabio suggested a classic Belgian dessert, Dame blanche, the waffle of Brussels with Chantilly cream.  Good choice!  There was a warm waffle covered with powdered sugar and dishes of Chantilly cream, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.  It was terrific!

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dessert menu cover
dessert menu
dessert menu
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waffle
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vanilla ice cream
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Chantilly cream
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Chocolate sauce
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Frankie and the Belgium waffle additions

 

To be sure we had enough sweet he then brought a black cherry pie, a small creme caramel and fresh strawberries.  The pie was very good and the creme caramel sweet and smooth but the strawberries were incredible.  Their flavor exploded in your mouth – how exceptional to have something so amazing that needed no further enhancement to make it outstanding.

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creme caramel
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black cherry pie
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fresh strawberries
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Frankie checked out the bill container
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Chef David Martin and Frankie

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