In his Cantinetta, the famous, retro, Southern-style bistro perched high up on the cours Julien area, Pierre-Antoine Denis (who also runs the former Bistrot d’Edouard under the name of Otto) shows off his longtime passion for first-rate transalpine victuals. Don’t pay any mind to the chatty young team, here its serious business from happy hour onwards: IGP 24-month Parma ham; impeccable burrata from Puglia; impressive grilled vegetable antipasto…. For the next course, the pasta is as fresh as can be (traditional rigatonis all’arrabbiata, opulent tagliatelle alle vongole…), as are the meats del giorno (polpette or tagliata of beef with Parmesan, balsamic and roasted potatoes). The panettone French toast with maple syrup and almond ice cream is less classic but still delicious with a coffee under the old plane tree on the patio. As for the wines: Chianti rosso San Fabiano (€6 a glass), Pinot Grigio Brandolini (€27 a bottle) and Valpolicella Amarone (€75). À la carte €23-46. // N.K.