Three's not a crowd when it comes to some of the city's most notable, neighbourhood based restaurant empires. Little Burgundy's Joe Beef, Liverpool House, and Vin Papillon. Mile End's Lawrence, Boucherie Lawrence, and Larrys. And, as of this past December, Little Italy's Impasto, Pizzeria Gema, and Chez Tousignant.
With the from scratch (ketchup and mayonnaise excepted) casse-croûte, Stefano Faita, Michele Forgione, and Yann Turcotte have shown fealty to Québécois snack bar culture, with none of the usual shortcuts. Chez Tousignant's menu is not some cheffy riff on casse-croûte food; it's simply casse-croûte food — burgers, hot dogs, chicken, poutine, doughnuts, milkshakes — made well.
"For me it’s easy to make seared foie gras, but it’s hard to make a good burger. I wanted to explore casse-croûte cuisine because it’s my favourite food. But there’s no good place to have it. I wondered why no one was giving it its due," Turcotte told the Montreal Gazette last fall. To Little Italy's joy, Chez Tousignant is now doing just that.