Hachoir: Chop it Up to the Meat

January 7, 2011 · 2 comments

in Restaurants

It’s always exciting when a new restaurant enters the food scene. At the beginning, expectations are high and we are a little more forgiving to typical restaurant “growing pains”. But, when you go early on in the restaurant’s life and it runs like they’ve been open for months, the experience is that much better.

A couple of months prior to opening, the only hint of a new establishment was a bright light projection of a large “H” on the white building. Taking over the old Bistro Caféo on the corner of St-Denis and Rachel, Hachoir offers various types of burgers, tartares, and a great wine list. The decor is modern, comforting, and very cool. I like the section of the bar where my legs aren’t dangling, instead, they are touching the floor. Also, the open kitchen style at the back with an over-sized yellow light hanging over the pass is pretty cool. I visited Hachoir on two separate occasions: the first within their opening week, and the second a couple weeks later for their official opening.

For any restaurant, it’s usually a bit of a risk to go within their first week of opening. However, I was so intrigued by the look and cool decor, I had to try it. My friend and I started with the mashed potatoes mixed with aligot cheese and garlic confit, topped with fresh chives.  This potato dish was so good! There was just enough aligot in there to give it that melted-cheese-stringiness  as soon as you pull your fork away that can satisfy anyone. I didn’t taste much of the garlic, but that was ok. Next, we indulged on the venison tartare. I welcomed the fruitiness of the dried cranberries, and what tasted like a sweet and runny jam underneath. The first thing I said about this tartare was, finally, a non-fish tartare that isn’t riddled with dijon mustard! Also very good. We wanted to taste the popcorn shrimp, but it wasn’t available that night. Too bad.

Then, onto the burgers. I had the Hachoir: the patty is a mixture of pork and shrimp, topped with double-smoked bacon, and dressed with a siracha and lime mayonnaise. Another welcome surprise was that the pickle is replaced with a fresh cucumber. I really like that touch. Different, refreshing, and really not that far-fetched. The burger was very unique and delicious. It was juicy, well seasoned, and perfectly cooked. Something different yet somewhat familiar. The fries are also really good. You can tell they are freshly cut. My friend had the slider trio: le classique, l’Afrique du nord, and le Hachoir. The presentation was pretty cool. The sliders are served on a large plank of wood, with the fries and a small salad in front. Just nice and clean. I will get to how these tasted a little later since I tried them in my second visit.

For dessert I tried their apple tarte with vanilla ice cream, and maple syrup. I like anything with maple in it, so how can this be bad. It was really good! I mean, REALLY good. The pastry on the bottom was light and slightly crispy, the apples were perfectly done, and I can see the small vanilla seeds all over the ice cream. Overall, a really good meal and I would definitely go back.

A couple weeks later, I was back; this time for the restaurant’s official opening. The whole night consisted of canapés: miniature versions of the actual dish, with a few off the menu surprises. The first thing I ate was a foie gras oreo with Parmesan cheese. I really didn’t know what to think of it. I had to keep eating them to figure out a familiar taste, then it hit me. This may sound a little crazy, but they tasted like the little square cheese crackers, cheeze-it. Not bad. Next, I was served a salmon tartare with a lemon cream on top. I really enjoyed the fresh lemon taste. Very unique, and good. Then, I was served a miniature crab croquette with a little claw sticking through it acting as the “toothpick”. At the other end of the claw was a little chunk of fresh crab meat. Yummy! A very pretty and interesting presentation. Then I had the popcorn shrimp. Loved these little bites. I could have ate these all night. Then came a couple more tartares. The first was a beef tartare with a tomato confit. Oh wow was that tomato good. Again, no dijon mustard. Thanks. The second was the venison tartare that I ate before. Still very good. Finally, the burgers. They served miniature versions of the Hachoir, L’Afrique du nord, and le classique.  Le classique was just a good burger. Nicely cooked, served with a small dollop of mayo, cucumber, and tomato. L’Afrique du nord is made with lamb mixed with an array of spices. On the bottom is a mix of mint yogurt and harissa mayonnaise, also with cucumber, tomato and a small olive slice. I liked this one. The mint brought out the lamb flavor, and the harissa mayo added some needed spiciness.

So there it is, my first two visits to Hachoir. The chef Greg Paul is super nice guy and very talented chef. The concept is very cool, and the decor is casual and modern. This is just the type of resto that can work in an area full of BYOW places, which I still like from time to time. But if you’re in the mood to leave the bottle at home, go to Hachoir. You won’t be disappointed.

Restaurant Hachoir: 4177 St-Denis, coin Rachel, Montreal, QC, H2W 2M7; (514)903-1331

Le Hachoir on Urbanspoon

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris 'Zeke' Hand January 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Howdy! How much did your meals cost? And who paid?

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Food Guy Montreal January 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

It cost around $35-40/person, but that’s with an appetizer, main, dessert and wine by the glass. I’d be glad to join you should you decide to go.

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