…and it’s a good description of Le Petit Marché, a small bistro in the even smaller Rue de Béarn right behind the very famous Place des Vosges. During lunchtime and dinner, it’s a place so packed that you can hardly breathe. But once settled down you’re enjoying almost a cliché of how Paris should taste and feel. The lady next to you? A Polish immigrant discussing art projects. The two guys to the right? Blabbing about fashion. The waiter spilling some sauce on your knees? A nice guy, actually, although he always forgets to bring the bread and the check and the wine. In the open kitchen you can observe the bald-headed chef and his two Sri Lankan aides dancing around the pots and pans. On the menu? A lot of good stuff, fairly priced. Yesterday, I had fish soup as a starter, well done with a good saffron note, followed by an onglet de veau, an interesting piece of veal (see below), served with light yet creamy purée de pommes. For 12,50 Euro (17 USD) you can hardly find a better lunch menu. And did you know? French singer Charles Aznavour grew up in Rue de Béarn. At that time it was a poor neighbourhood. It isn’t any longer.