Dublin is known for its rowdy pubs and Guinness, but what if you just want to relax with a glass of good wine? (The operative word here being “good.”) Some of the pubs offer wine, but the atmosphere isn’t right. Wine requires an aesthetically pleasing locale, and maybe a bit of attitude. So Tom and I set out on a quest to go “wine bar-hopping” south of the Liffey.
Ely Wine Bar- 22 Ely Place near Merrion Square. This basement restaurant is simply decorated with a nice selection of wines. It also has incredible food. The oysters were fresh, and the Irish stew was extremely filling. http://www.elywinebar.ie/
At La Stampa Hotel and Spa, located at 35 Dawson Street, you can hit 3 bars right next to each other. http://www.lastampa.ie/
Café en Seine- Decorated in gaudy 1900s style, the mirrors, lamp shades with tassels and plants are outrageously oversized. The bar boasts 3 floors and a glass atrium and has received numerous awards. Booths and tables were well crammed with locals, and the wine selection was decent. Food and drinks are expensive, but the people watching is priceless. Live Music and DJs.
Balzac- In the foyer of this high end restaurant sits a simple but tasteful bar area where you can relax with a glass of wine after the sensory overload at Café en Seine.
SamSara- This is a “come to be seen” bar. The African and Indian décor is intensified by the brick columns and low lighting. The Mezz bar overlooks the main room where expensive and trendy thirtysomethings bob to a DJ.
Pearl Brasserie- 20 Upper Merrion Street. The cozy bar area has a beautiful fire place and exceptional wine list. This is a fabulous restaurant, but don’t rush the experience. Have a glass of wine by the fireplace before heading to your table. www.pearl-brasserie.com
Thornton’s-Fitzwilliam Hotel- 128 St. Stephen’s Green. Maybe it’s not a designated wine bar, but the bar area had sofas and tables to kick back in while we enjoyed our wine and canapés (highly recommended). http://www.thortonsrestaurant.com/
Peploe’s Wine Bistro- 16 St. Stephen’s Green. White rounded alcove like ceiling, pre-concert dinner menu, and a nice selection of Italian and French wines. It’s cozy and elegant http://www.peploes.com/.