Primarily know as the ceviche and tapas restaurant that opened in Harbor East in May, Talara surprisingly also has a spirited (and inexpensive!) nightlife scene. Described by general manager Nick Rizzo as "old South Beach," Talara's decor includes brightly colored walls and Cuban-inspired artwork. This vibe is also carried over into the bar area, with fiery light fixtures and a bright, geometric design.
Besides the look of the place, the deals aren't bad either. Monday-Saturday, from 4-7 p.m., Talara offers $5 tapas, $5 cocktails, $4 glasses of wine, and $3 South American beer (like Quilmes from Argentina or Palma Louca from Brazil). But their drink menu is defined by their mojitos. They have more than eight options to choose from—ranging from their crisp mojito classico to the more ecclectic mint bubble gum mojito. My favorite that I've tried so far is the passion fruit mojito, which has a perfect mix of sweet and sour flavors. I'm a big fan of late-night happy hours, so I like that Talara has specials on Saturdays from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (and that the kitchen stays open late!)
In addition to their drink selection, Talara also offers free salsa and dancing lessons every Monday night from 9 p.m.-midnight. I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard that the vibe is more low-key and relaxed than other salsa nights around town, making it less intimidating for beginners.
"It has been said that Talara is not a Baltimore place," says Rizzo. "We know this and we use it to our advantage." So check out Talara if you're in the mood for something new.
[Image: courtesy of baltimoresun.com]