By YP Contributor

Ground Meat

In Montreal, the intersection of Saint-Denis and Rachel has long been recognized as a dynamic and lively place (think: ultra-frequented) where, over the years, shops, cafés, bars and restaurants have established themselves. Since December 2010, the southeast corner has been occupied by the restaurant Le Hachoir, a bistro-style establishment, opened by the notable Jean-François Corriveau and Alain Dussault.

“At first, we had the idea of making​​ luxury burgers,” says Alain. “Then, we decided we want to be the ones making our meats. We had liked the concept of a guy making his meats in a cold room, and making his burgers on a cooked-to-order basis.” The team liked the idea but felt it was incomplete, so they added tartares to the menu. Soon after, they came up with the name for their restaurant, which translates to “Chopper” in English.

It's great because you can enjoy meat and eat very healthy at the same time. You can spend $20 just as you can spend $100. - Alain Dussault, co-owner
Alain Dussault, co-owner, Mathieu Galopin, manager and Loïc Tellier, chef.  Photos by Michelle Trottier

Burgers and Tartares

Originally, the meats and fish used in making the burgers and tartares were all cut in the meat grinder, but at some point, the decision was made to cut the fish with a knife, as its more delicate flesh is best suited to this technique. That said, Alain also notes: “It's very subjective, tartares, in terms of which texture and what size [in cuts] people like best.”

In any case, Le Hachoir's tartares attract enthusiasts, who come from all over, and in large numbers, to taste the dishes of Chef Loïc Tellier. And, even though the salmon tartare is very popular, the same can be said for several burgers on the menu. Among the popular burgers are “le Jean-Guy” – which includes seasoned deer, goat cheese, dried tomato and raisins – and “le Montignac 2.0” – which Alain describes as being “quite a burger” that has caramelized onions, onions cut in rings, bacon, a beef patty and Gruyere cheese, with no lettuce in sight. Each week, the chef offers a new original burger with unusual flavours offered during both lunch and dinner.

All of the restaurant's meats come from Boucherie Grinder in Griffintown, which belongs to the same group of entrepreneurs. The only beef they use is the 1855 Angus, so that they're always offering the best quality to their customers.

Le Hachoir's croutons are a great compliment to their meat and fish dishes.
Le Hachoir's salmon tartare is one of their most popular dishes.

Wine and Ambiance

The attention to quality is also reflected in the choice of wines. Mathieu Galopin, manager of Le Hachoir, notes that 99.9 per cent of the wines served at the restaurant are privately imported. Of this number, about 85 per cent come from biodynamic farming, and about 25 per cent are also natural, which means that nothing (or almost nothing) has been added to the nectar during the winemaking.

The restaurant's staff is well trained to adequately advise customers. “Wine is taken very seriously here, even if we sell burgers,” notes Alain.

During the week, the restaurant hosts a predominantly neighbourhood clientele looking for a friendly and unpretentious place to eat well. But, come the weekend, it fills up with people from outside the area, and the level of volume increases with the voices of customers who are in a festive mood. So, it is probably best to avoid it for a romantic evening, but to be sought out if you're looking for a blend of good food, friendly service and a welcoming environment, where customer satisfaction and happiness is the main priority.

Le Hachoir serves a stellar list of refined privately imported wine.
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