If you want to do Dublin by night the way the locals do, then get out of those characterful but grimy pubs and into one of the slick new venues that have mushroomed in the Irish capital of late. Realizing that there's more to the Craic than staring into a pint of Guinness while maudlin folk songs play on an endless loop, Dublin's restaurateurs have turned the city into a reasonable simulacrum of a dining destination.
Those in search of style bars and designer bistros now find themselves with a surfeit of options, but there are two that shouldn't be missed. For classy aperitifs among a crowd of Dublin's young shovers and makers, there is the sprawling, magnificent Café en Seine, tel: (353-1) 677 4567. Decked out like a debauched fantasy of late 19th century Paris, this three-story café-bar features a soaring atrium, 12-m trees and an atmosphere in which Toulouse-Lautrec would have felt right at home.
For dinner, head over to Halo in the John Rocha-designed Morrison Hotel, tel: (353-1) 887 2400. Here, chef Jean-Michel Poulot works with the freshest local produce in a restaurant widely considered to be Dublin's best.