None of the 26 chairs match in this satisfying sliver of a restaurant near Tompkins Square Park. But that seems to suit the young, happy regulars just fine, because the owner has made quite a show of putting a hallway to good use as a restaurant. The French are famously eclectic, and this exceptional little place is no exception to the rule. Framed mirrors, tiny yellow lights, the hinged, empty panels of a wooden diptych occupy the wine-dark walls. Expect little to no elbow room, but in exchange you get an exceedingly good meal at an exceedingly good price. Service is friendly and professional. Tables are small, but the southern French food has a big personality. The chef elevates bistro food to the hilt by adding smart, zingy touches: cherry juice to offset a hearty duck breast, and a sweet corn cake and champagne vinaigrette makes an unpretentious striped bass bucolic.