Atmospheric is one of the things they do best in the Foley family and this younger sister restaurant to Nick’s (see entry), run by Clíodhna Foley, proves the point.
Located in a former Church of Ireland premises just up the hill a little behind Nick’s, it’s an impressive place with a long bar, several seating areas and loads of character - the name means ‘sun and shade’ and one inspiration for the choice was the way the light from the stained glass windows plays on the interior.
The menu leads off helpfully with a definition of ‘tapa’ and explains that what’s on offer here is actually ‘raciones’ which are larger tapas portions, served on or with bread, and perfect for sharing with friends - a good decision that suits Irish tastes and is proving very popular.
The food varies with the seasons and is based mainly on local Irish produce, with speciality foods imported from Spain for authenticity; an extensive range of little dishes is offered, with calamari a la plancha, roquetas de jamon Serrano, piquillo peppers and Spanish black pudding among the specialities.
Desserts include one that will definitely put sherry trifle in the shade - a home-made zesty orange ice cream drizzled with medium sweet sherry.
The Foleys have been importing wine for many years and their carefully selected, mainly Spanish, list includes a lot of specially imported bottles; you’ll also find a good choice of wines by the glass, including three sherries (all offered in two measures,150ml/1/5 bottle or 187ml/1/4 bottle, and poured from standard 750ml bottles).
Live music is also an important feature here - check the website for details.