At Le Hachoir they have done a fantastic job of keeping superfluous filler off the menu by maintaining focus on a refined selection of gourmet burgers, steaks and tartar mixed with some seafood and a particularly good poutine. A simple menu, paired with exclusive cocktails and a special wine selection makes for a perfect place to have a fun evening out in one of Montreal’s busiest neighborhoods.

When we arrived at the restaurant last Friday, we were seated promptly and swiftly handed the drink menu. We sipped on perfectly blended bitter cocktails and were given ample time to watch passersby dodge traffic and each other at the busy Rachel-St. Denis intersection. The energy in the area soon flooded into the restaurant as it quickly started to fill up.

After a few minutes of chatting and people watching, our waitress came back to take our order. A short time later, when we had just finished our second round of drinks, we received our food, open a bottle of red wine and began our meal. We tried their classic burger and the duck confit poutine and overall, we were quite pleased. The burger was so good that it may become a personal favorite and it will definitely have me coming back again. The meat was deliciously seasoned and it paired perfectly with the flavors from the toppings. I also should mention that the fries are excellent.

While I was enjoying my burger, I sneakily swiped some of my friend’s delicious poutine and the duck was sumptuous, a great variation on the French Canadian classic. The dessert selection that followed our meal, aptly named Chocolat Chocolat Chocolat was chocolate lover’s coma dream come true with a homemade truffle filled with chocolate crème brule, and a melt in your mouth brownie. As if that wasn`t good enough, we also had the hot chocolate cappuccino. I couldn’t decide which I liked better and thankfully I didn’t have to.

When you walk in to Le Hachoir, it has an industrial feeling about it, but the space remains inviting with a warmly light atmosphere that is only complimented by the glow of the street lights as night falls. This light pours in through the wall of windows facing Rachel Street which opens the restaurant up on one side, letting customers watch the bustling crowd go by.

The restaurant itself isn’t a large space, but they have designed it to optimize every little corner. They also manage to keep the space feeling open with the cleverly designed bar at the back as well as the semi-open kitchen. The handsome staff is quick, engaged, and attentive. From the minute we arrived and as the evening progressed, I observed their interaction with patrons and as the restaurant filled up and they didn’t seem to miss a beat.

In Montreal’s wide spectrum of different restaurants we have tons of bistros, pubs and other eateries that range from blindingly loud, with menus so large that it takes an operating license to maneuver them to the bistros with wall size chalkboard menus, which many Montreal restaurateurs still seem to find innovative. Depending on taste and mood, there’s nothing wrong with either of these types of places, but happily, nestled amongst the noise and chalk dust, there can still be found those balanced, relaxed and unpretentiously vibrant places to have a good meal in the city and that’s why we loved Le Hachoir.