In 1999, on a little travelled street, off Dublin’s Merrion Row, Erik and Michelle Robson opened a little wine bar in a re-furbished Georgian building. Their vision was clear; to serve a wide selection of good wines, with many by the glass, together with simple, well-sourced nibbles. Since then, their dream has grown into one of the most popular spots to enjoy a post-work glass of decent wine with a delicious bite to eat.
The menu has extended to much more than nibbles. Anthony Robineau runs the original of the ely stable - and he does so with cool style and sophisticated elegance. The room is filled with character, distressed floors in the main area and a raised area facing the street. Lunch here is an eclectic mix of dish styles, but with Irish produce at the centre of things. Dinner brings on an intimate feel, with a varied selection of starters, mains and desserts, reasonably priced considering this is the heart of Georgian Dublin city centre. A set two or three course lunch and dinner menu is also available, representing all of the value and lacking none of the creativity or quality of ingredients on the A La Carte. Erik's own family farm in Clare produces much of the meat for all the ely group of eating houses.
Remaining produce is sourced as locally as possible. Of course, given the original intentions of the owners to create a great wine experience, ely has a list of around 400 wines from artisan wine producers all over the world. Tastings are held regularly, with guest speakers and winemakers often in attendance. The wine choice here is as varied as it comes - plenty by the glass if you just want a casual sip, backed up with bottles to please even the most discerning of wine buffs.
ely has grown in size and stature, with two venues located in Dublin. But this is the original home of the ely ethos, situated in a historic area of the city, with a story all it's own.
Read more about ely winebars' sister bar and brasserie - ely Bar & Brasserie