When is a wine bar not just a wine bar? When it's one of the city's most talked-about restaurants. Opened as a basement wine bar by Olivier Meisonnave, the former sommelier at stellar Thornton's, Dax quickly became the choice of discerning Dubliners. You can drink or dine (tapas-style) at the bar, in the lush armchairs of the open-plan lounge, or in the more formal, restrained-modern dining room. The roasted wood pigeon with almond and white chocolate gel and mulled wine syrup is an adventurous starter, while the cold meat platter is a finger-lickin' little bar dish. The wine list is the envy of many a more expensive eatery, and with a couple of dozen wines poured by the glass you can dare to try something really special. There's a sister café in the same building with equally scrumptious offerings at a lower price point.