The first of the continental style café-bars to open in Dublin, Café en Seine remains on top of the game - the interior is still impressive, in an opulent art deco style reminiscent of turn-of-the-century Paris.
Not so much a bar as a series of bars (your mobile phone could be your most useful accessory if you arrange to meet somebody here), the soaring interior is amazing with a 3-storey atrium culminating in beautiful glass-panelled ceilings, forty foot trees, enormous art nouveau glass lanterns, and statues and a 19th century French hotel lift among its many amazing features.
No expense has been spared in ensuring the quality of design, materials and craftsmanship necessary to create this Aladdin's cave of a bar. Lush ferns create a decadent atmosphere and the judicious mixture of old and new which make it a true original - and its many 'bars within bars' create intimate spaces that are a far cry from the usual impersonality of the superpub.
Appealing food is a feature too: there's a sociable combination platter serving four people and hot dishes like steak sandwiches, scampi and quiches with salads are popular; everything is spotlessly clean and, while quite predictable, the food is really tasty.
An informal range of contemporary dishes is available over lunchtime every day, also light bites all day - and there's a popular Jazz Brunch every Sunday.
Little wonder that so many people of all ages still see it as the coolest place in town. Small al fresco covered section at front seats about 30.
* Management taken over by Ray Byrne (of Wineport Lodge) and chef Colin O‘Daly (chef-patron of Roly's Bistro) has been commissioned to subtly transform their food concept & delivery - re-assessment of food pending.