Baltimore Restaurant Review: Talara

We are spending a few days in Baltimore as guests of the Four Seasons (more about that later!!) but last night we were on our own for dinner, and after consulting the concierge we made reservations at Talara — “a Latin Fusion restaurant featuring Baltimore’s only Seviche Bar and a full menu of dinner offerings, conveniently located in the heart of Baltimore’s exciting Harbor East neighborhood within walking distance to the Inner Harbor” — according to their Facebook page.

They failed to mention another crucial component — the tapas, which is the main reason we went. Our kids, you see, they like to eat what we eat. Children’s menus don’t impress my offspring, which delights me on the one hand while simultaneously taking its toll on my pocketbook.

So tapas are perfect for us — we get to try a variety of menu items, which is always fun, but tapas also give us a good selection of smaller plates for our kids.

Case in point: last night my kids fought over the mussels, my 10-year-old ordered sushi has her main dish, and we all enjoyed the seviche. It was the first time my kids had ever had seviche, and I wasn’t expecting them to dig it but they did. Crazy kids!

mussels

sushi

Yeah, proud mom, right here.

Everything we ate at Talara was phenomenal. I love how they infuse Latin American flavors into everything from sushi to shrimp and grits to crabcakes. It was truly unique and such a nice surprise on our last night in Baltimore to discover such a gem.

My Shrimp and Grits were out. of. this. world. I am just sad that I don’t know when I’ll get to have them prepared like that again.

shrimp and grits

I wish I’d gotten a better photo of the presentation before I dove in. My husband had the foresight to photograph his main dish before he started eating. He had the Crabcake Chili Relleno, which he said was outstanding. He was still a little bitter that I ordered the Shrimp and Grits out from under him. (We refuse to order the same entree when dining out; we’re weird, I know!)

crabcakes-talara

Talara is also known for their cocktails. I had the classic mojito, and it was very good, but I never enjoy mixed drinks served over ice because they get watery so fast. I ended up switching over to wine after that and was much happier.

I like how they brought each dish out as they were ready, so it spread out the experience. We tried to instill in our kids the concept of eating slowly and enjoying each dish. They still managed to dive in and devour each course, but we’ll keep working on them!

R-and-me

At the end of the evening, the executive chef came around and asked us how we liked our food. This was purely organic on their part. Unlike the night before when we were guests of Wit and Wisdom, we were just regular ole customers at Talara, but the service was still impressive. There were a few times when our glasses were empty and we had to ask for basics like water, but overall we were pleased with the service for a busy Friday night. Our server was knowledgable, gave us some good menu suggestions, and was very patient with our rowdy gang.

I appreciated the casual, laid-back atmosphere — especially with kids. It’s not really a kid’s place, though. (There is no children’s menu.) It’s more of a trendy place to meet friends after work. If I lived nearby, I expect I’d be there weekly.

This has nothing to do with Talara, but I took this shot on the way back to our hotel afterwards and I just love it. This is totally unedited, no filter.

kids at four seasons

More about our trip later this week!!

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