Baltimore gains new wedding/event venue at Quarry Lake


Charles Levine announced today that in conjunction with the November opening of Citron at Quarry Lake at Greenspring, he will also open The Cove at Citron, a special event venue that will be available for corporate and social events beginning in January 2017.

Located next to Citron and overlooking Quarry Lake, The Cove at Citron will offer patrons stunning lakefront views, one-of-a-kind menus created by Levine himself, and a wide range of options for corporate and social events. The spacious interior will accommodate up to 150 for a seated event and 200 for a cocktail reception, and the private deck will seat up to 100 or accommodate up to 200 for a cocktail reception. Experienced staff will be available to assist in planning corporate, social or fundraising events at the venue.

Both The Cove and Citron are currently under construction on the north side of Quarry Lake. Upon opening in November, Citron will feature a dining room, bar, outside patio and waterfront deck seating overlooking the lake. The Cove is currently accepting bookings for private events starting sometime in January. Citron will offer a seasonally changing and approachable contemporary American menu with a subtle French twist.


Those interested in learning more about The Cove at Citron and employment opportunities at Citron can visit

Review: Stitch Fix #17 (WITH VOTING!)


If you recall, my last Stitch Fix was just a total bust. I was ready to give up and emailed them, exasperated. They offered to waive my styling fee to give ’em another shot, so here I am. Ready for #17?

HAILEY 23 Kerrigan Dress, $78


Steve: “You could get this at Old Navy, right?”

Yes, he’s kind of right. I love the top, but the bottom is a little heavy and maybe a little matronly.


BRIXON IVY Cristen Shirt Dress, $68


I was so excited when I took this out because I love the pattern and shirt dresses are fun, right? The fit feels a little off, though, and I’m not sure how I feel about this much mint color.

Steve: “So they stopped sending prison stripes and are just sending flowers now? This looks like a Victoria’s Secret kitchen apron.”

SKIES ARE BLUE Pagan Back Strap Chambray Top, $48



Sorry, not ironing these before posting, so wrinkles it is! I LOVE the chambray, but the metal holes in the bottom are a little odd. I like the t-back design. Would you pay $48 for this?

Steve: “This looks like it was made out of a pillowcase.”


MARKET & SPRUCE Benni Crossfront Knit Top, $48


I love grey! I love the feel of this top! But again … $48? Seems a little steep for a plain grey top …

Steve: [Grabs the front] “You could put a baby kangaroo in here!”


SKIES ARE BLUE Klide Woven Back Knit Top, $48



Steve: “This is the clothing version of a mullet — business in the front, party in the back.”

I can’t even talk about this. I dislike it even more after trying it on. The green is too bright, the sides are weirdly high, the pattern is not my style — negative.


I don’t know, guys. I’m torn on a few pieces. I was feeling really optimistic when I opened this one, but now — a little less so. Help!

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end …

OU cover

July 21 will be my last day at OrderUp. After a very, very tough deliberation process, I decided that this is the time for me to embrace a new opportunity. (I’ll talk more about that in another post; I want to give OrderUp my full love here.)


Me and Dana, my partner in crime

My first company party. What a horrible, horrible day after.

My first company party. What a horrible, horrible day after

The day that Justin Forsett popped by the office

The day that Justin Forsett popped by the office

Almost two years ago, the two founders of OU took a chance hiring me to run the company’s PR and comm. I had a proven track record but was new to the startup world — and wow, did I get a crash course. The first month, I was terrified that I was going to be fired any day because the pace was so quick. I worried that I couldn’t keep up.

One of the most fun nights -- the night before the acquisition was announced

One of the most fun nights — the night before the acquisition was announced

When you sell your company, you get a unicorn

When you sell your company, you get a unicorn

I dug deeper. I put everything into promoting the company. I worked evenings, weekends, traveled to new markets, and chose to “embrace the crazy,” as Heather Whaling advocates.

In Chicago w/some of my gals

In Chicago w/some of my gals

Bye Michael

Bye Michael

We hired a ton of people; my favorite headline is still: OrderUp hires everybody. This team is truly remarkable. They’re some of the funniest, kindest, smartest people I’ve ever worked with. I laugh every single day. (I also eat and drink with them a lot, which is an added perk.)

And then JO ate pie

And then JO ate pie

At the Pratt Library Black & White gala

At the Pratt Library Black & White gala

After two years, I’ve learned a lot about what I want in my career and a working environment. It’s hard to imagine an office without a casual dress code, co-workers lounging in a hammock, beer in the fridge, and music playing. I know that I need autonomy and the ability to run with my ideas. It’s so important to me to be a part of building something, and I’m so grateful for the experience.

Celebrating my birthday with the team in Chicago!

Celebrating my birthday with the team in Chicago!

Birthday shenanigans

Birthday shenanigans

Awesome opp to have CJ on a Light City U panel

Awesome opp to have CJ on a Light City U panel

I learned how to keep really big secrets, about being a woman in tech, the importance of knowing and playing up your strengths, that I’m too old to throw down that hard, how to convince an athlete to take part in a pie-eating contest, that I should really be a life coach, and — as a wise man once told me — people invest in the team.

On the river in Chi-town

On the river in Chi-town

Pedal tour of Fells drinking spots

Pedal tour of Fells drinking spots

I’ve had one of the best teams.

StitchFix #16 (or the one where they didn’t listen to anything I asked)


Another day, another StitchFix (technically, it’s two words — Stitch Fix — but pretty sure everyone under the sun spells it as one word). After the last one and sending back the shirt because it had a hole, I was feeling pessimistic but decided to give SF another chance. (Maybe I’m a masochist?)

I asked for: 1-2 dresses for summer weddings, short-sleeve or sleeveless tops, mostly solid colors (no red, orange, or yellow), and all V- or U-neck (crew neck is not flattering on me). Here’s what I received:

PIXLEY Pestova Knot Back Top ($44)

StitchFix review

Well. This is a pattern — and a very busy one, at that. It’s an odd fit, too; the sides expose bra and it’s a little short in the front.

Steve: “Why do they keep sending you shirts that look like you’re going to Woodstock?”

PAPERMOON Neptune Racerback Top ($38)

StitchFix review

Another pattern. I do like this one, and the back is a cute racerback with a solid blue section. (I didn’t show it because I had massive cupping marks.) I guess it’s kind of U-neck, but I don’t love the cut or the pattern.

Steve: “This might be the only thing I’ve ever liked.” WHAT!?

41 HAWTHORN Arlinda Textured Dress ($68)

StitchFix review

You can’t really tell, but this is black with a dark purple pattern. I’m okay with a pattern on the dress, but this is very dark for summer weddings. It’s cute, but not sure if it’s cute enough.

Steve: “PURPLE RAIN, PURPLE RAAAAAAAAAIN!” (I’m laughing because he was singing.)


StitchFix review

My eyes are dizzy just looking at this. #1 – Pattern. #2 – Heavy, not summery. #3 – Not really nice enough for a wedding. #4 – Crew neck!

Steve: “Why do they also keep sending you stuff that looks like you’re a zebra or in prison? I don’t get it.”

DOE & RAE Aliza Knit Textured Dress ($68)

StitchFix review


I think Steve mumbled something along the lines of LL Bean making this.

Guys. This sucks. I’ve loved SF SO MUCH, but these last two Fixes make it hard to not pull the plug. What say you?

2 (more!) days in Paris: The college roommate edition

paris cover

Steve and I only had one full day in Paris last fall, so when we learned we were going back to London, I booked a train to Paris for two days. I planned to take in the sights and sounds solo, but by good fortune, my college roommate, Natalie, who is currently traveling the world, was in Western Europe at the same time. She and her traveling friend, Katy, were able to arrange their schedules to join me for two days in Paris!

(Just want to know my thoughts on certain places? Look for the BOLD words. Just want general tips/observations? Skip to the end.)

Day 1: Crazy travel, my Airbnb, Montmartre, sunset at the Eiffel Tower

In the US, you show up 5 minutes before Amtrak leaves, hop on the train, and you’re set. Eurostar used to be like that, but what I took as a suggestion to arrive 30 min before your train is actually a requirement now. Oops.

After missing Train #1, I paid to get on the next train, went right through security, and stopped dead in my tracks. I’d forgotten my passport in the hotel safe. SERIOUSLY!? At this point, looking back, I’m glad that I was meeting Natalie because otherwise, I likely would’ve thrown in the towel. Instead, I hopped on the Tube back to the hotel, back on the Tube, and paid AGAIN to change my ticket.

After all of that, I was on my way to Paris! I easily found my Airbnb just 5 minutes from the train station and met Sandra and her husband and daughter. (It was my fist time staying with others!) They were all lovely and not at all intrusive; I just came and went as I pleased. (They were also kind enough to let me come early to drop my bag and held it for me the next day so I didn’t have to lug it around Paris.)

Natalie and I had been messaging and sent each other THE EXACT SAME PLACE to meet in Montmartre (eerie), La Cave Gourmande, which didn’t feel too touristy. It was SO crazy to walk around the corner to see one of my closest friends running toward me; we hugged and I said, “I cannot believe that we’re seeing each other — IN PARIS.” It was all a little surreal.


Katy and Natalie told me all of the tales of their amazing travels while we had some red wine and a light lunch. We popped into a few shops and I took them to see Sacre Coeur, the beautiful chapel overlooking the city that Steve and I visited in the fall. We walked through the church and wandered the streets, in awe of the gorgeous old homes and shops.



As we passed Montmartre Cemetery, I asked, “Sooo, how do you guys feel about cemeteries?” Cemeteries in Europe are totally different; they’re really pieces of sculptural art combined with parks. (Remember San Miniato in Florence?) Luckily, they were totally into it. We checked out the map and saw that Degas was buried there, so we set out to find it. After a lot of walking/getting a little lost, we found it.



We found a metro station and took it south so that we could go to the Eiffel Tower. There was a lot of security because of the Euros (soccer), but we got through quickly and hiked the 669 steps to the second platform for an unreal view of the city. We bought wine and settled in for the sunset, which didn’t happen until almost 10pm.


Since Natalie and Katy were staying in the 17th, we went back to Montmarte for dinner. It was almost 11pm, so options were more limited, but we settled on Cafe Marcel. I indulged on a dinner of only red wine, bread, and cheese after walking more than 14 miles … and IT. WAS. AMAZING.

Day 2: The D’Orsay, Luxembourg Garden, Notre Dame, Marché des Enfants Rouges

I struggled to wake up on my second day in Paris; my loft was SO HOT and the bed was not the most comfortable, so I only got a few hours of sleep. I grabbed a croissant at a local boulangerie and  met up with Natalie and Katy at the D’Orsay Museum after a bit of a detour due to a flooded metro station. We enjoyed it, but were sad that several areas we wanted to see were closed for renovations.



I can’t recall where we had lunch; it was a small cafe on an adorable street in St. Germain des Pres. I knew that we were close to Luxembourg Gardens and it was a gorgeous day; I really wanted Katy and Natalie to see it. The park was packed and kids were out with the push boats; it was really idyllic.



The one thing that I really wanted to do was see inside Notre Dame; Steve and I were only able to walk past it last year. We waited in a pretty quick line to check out the (free!) 800+-year-old church. The French-Gothic architecture is absolutely amazing and Katy gave me a quick religion lesson so I’d better understand the purpose of the different areas. Between my love of art history and architecture, I was in complete awe the whole time. The line for the towers was pretty long and I had to be back at my Airbnb by 5pm to get my bag and catch the train back to London, so we skipped it — but next time!



We walked through le Marais neighborhood; now see why my friend Emily always stays there. It had such a cool, young vibe and so many great shops and restaurants. (I’ll definitely be staying there next time.) We checked out Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’ oldest covered market, which was mostly closed at 4pm but looked like a great place to grab lunch.

I said my goodbyes and was on the 6pm train, back in time to have dinner with Steve in London!

General tips/observations

  • Plan for security! After recent terrorist attacks, the UK and EU have really ramped up security.
  • Take a chance on a shared Airbnb. It was easy, I was barely there, and it cost so little.
  • As always: Walk. The metro is great, but walking allows you to see so much more.
  • Remember your passport 😉

Would I go back?

While I had the most amazing time with Natalie and Katy, Paris didn’t enchant me as much as it did the first time. It felt a little dirtier, a little grittier. That said, walking through Le Marais made me realize how much I haven’t seen (and how much I want to spend time in that neighborhood), so I definitely plan to go back to take in more of what Paris has to offer.

4 (more!) days in London: Southwark, Notting Hill, Chelsea, Shoreditch

4 days

When Steve heard on the day we returned from Turks & Caicos that he’d be going back to London for a week for work, I WAS SO EXCITED. I loved London in the fall and was so excited to see it in the spring. While I was in the city, I’d be working remotely, so I chose three different neighborhoods to spend time in while working: Notting Hill, Chelsea, and Shoreditch.

I was also really excited because Steve and I didn’t have a day together in London last year,  so to fly there together and have all day Sunday (and dinner some evenings) was a big plus.

(Just want to know my thoughts on certain places? Look for the BOLD words. Just want general tips/observations? Skip to the end.)

Day 1: Spitalfields Market, St. Dunstan-in-the-East, St. Katharine Docks, Butler’s Wharf, Bermondsey St in Southwark

After an easy flight and quick ride on the Heathrow Express (which I highly recommend) and then using the HailO app (no sponsorship — it was just awesome!), we were at the Grange Tower Bridge, just north of the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge, both of which I visited last fall. It was a great location, much closer to things that stayed open in the evening, unlike our previous hotel. We set off to get lunch at Spitalfields Market, which was bustling. We perused the stalls and I picked up a cute dress. We grabbed chicken naan wraps at Scarlet Grill, which were so messy but so good.


After lunch, we walked a good distance to St. Dunstan-in-the-East, a church from 1100 that had been destroyed during the London fire and the blitz of WWII. The old structure is now a small park and was so gorgeous. Then we walked to St. Katharine Docks (which I was excited about since they spell Katharine like my Katharine!) The marina is a gorgeous mix of old and new with lots of shops and restaurants. It’s so cool to know that places like this have been around for 1000+ years.


We crossed the Tower Bridge to Butler’s Wharf, one of many wharfs along the River Thames. It’s also converted to mixed use space and made for a gorgeous walk. (The area is also called Shad Thames, if you’re researching.) From there, we went to Bermondsey Street in Southwark (not pronounced SOUTH-WARK — it’s SOWTHERK.) Southwark is a cool up-and-coming neighborhood, home to Borough Market, the Tate, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

I wanted to go to Jose on Bermondsey, but they were closed, so we walked the street, checked out the shops, and ended up at Woolpack for a drink before dinner. EVERYONE was having the Sunday roast and hanging out on the back patio, which was soaked in sun — abnormal for London. (Steve had a really good IPA here, Beavertown Brewery Neck Oil, which was light and kind of floral.) We decided on Garrison Public House for dinner, where I had an amazing beetroot gnocchi with watercress, cashews, and Brie sauce, and Steve had the fish and chips. (I stole his mushy peas — YUM.) (Also, it’s listed as pretty expensive, but it wasn’t at all.)

Jet lag was kicking in hard core, so we walked back over the bridge and passed out by like 11pm.

Day 2: Southwark Park, Notting Hill, Kensington Palace, Commercial Street Tavern, and Hawksmoor

Seen on my run

Seen on my run

I vowed that if I took up space with running stuff when packing, I was going to go. I set off early over the Tower Bridge, along Butler’s Wharf to Southwark Park. I got a little lost looping through and ended up doing 5 awesome sightseeing miles.

I hopped on the Tube and went to Notting Hill to Granger & Co, which Casey recommended. I had wifi, an outlet, and an excellent acai bowl and avocado toast. Oh, and tea! Of course. Perfect to knock out a few hours of work.

During lunch, I walked along Portobello Road to check out the market, which was less impressive than I thought. I guess it was a Monday, so it wasn’t as lively, but it was kind of standard vendors.

I set up office #2 at Continental Pantry, which had a very cool vibe and good food. (I loved my prosciutto and fig sandwich and chocolate croissant.) The cafe had colorful couches, quirky lighting, and was quiet for the afternoon. After work, I went to Kensington Palace, which was closing the last time I went. I was so sad that the newest section about Diana and more recent royals was closed, but I still loved seeing the palace and thinking that I was SO CLOSE to the royal family. (British police, I don’t mean that in a creepy way.)

Kate stood in this exact spot the VERY NEXT DAY

Kate stood in this exact spot the VERY NEXT DAY

After a quick stop at Zara (of course) and a bike ride through Hyde Park (because who can resist?), I met up with Steve to go to dinner. We stopped for drinks at Commercial Tavern, which is such a cool place. I had a massive gin & tonic (they have a whole G&T menu!) and couldn’t stop looking at the space. It was kind of like grandma’s house, if grandma was super cool and hip and fun.

Dinner was at Hawksmoor Spitalfields, which I was told is THE place to go for steak in London. I don’t eat red meat, but Steve does, and he throughly enjoyed it. I attacked another plate of pasta — ricotta dumplings with spring veggies — and loved it. We split (aka I ate 92% of) THE MOST AMAZING DESSERT, the sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream. I don’t know what the hell clotted cream is, but this dessert is SO FREAKING GOOD. I could smell the chocolate and toffee as soon as we walked in and salivated every time I saw someone order it.

Day 3: Groupon UK, Natural History Museum, Chelsea/South Kensington

On Tuesday morning, I got in another run along St. Katharine Docks to Wrapping, lucky to have another gorgeous day on the water.

Before I left, my colleague put me in touch with the Groupon UK comm team, so I stopped by the office to meet them. They have an amazing view of the Thames and it was awesome to hear what they’re working on and similarities/differences between Europe and the US.


Before I went to my next coffee shop, I stopped at the Natural History Museum to see the architecture. It’s mind-blowing to see these structures and imagine how they created them. I walked through South Kensington to Chelsea and set up shop at L’etto Caffe, where they kindly let me hog the outlet. I had a gorgeous egg white omelette with spinach & tomatoes with sourdough toast.

I had to check out the shops on King Street and at Duke of York Square, but quickly realized I couldn’t afford to shop at any of them. It started raining and I had to get on a call, so I ducked into Polpo, a cute Italian place. One thing I love about Europe is that because the countries are so close, you’re getting a guy who is actually from Italy running the place. The broad bean, mint and ricotta bruschetta was so good, even though it sounds kind of weird.

Dinner that night was at Dickens Inn at St. Katharine Docks, which had reasonably good wood-fired pizza, but the service was pretty terrible. I had to be up early and it was close, so it worked.

Day 4: Shoreditch: The Book Club, Redchurch Street, BoxPark

Maybe not cocktail time ... yet

Maybe not cocktail time … yet

Day 4 was actually two days after Day 3, with a quick trip to Paris in between, which I’ll post about soon. Since the day was a little shorter because of travel to Amsterdam, I stayed in the area and hung out in Shoreditch. How could I resist a place called The Book Club?? There are no books inside, so I’m not sure where the name came from, but it was great food and a perfect work space. (I wanted to swap out the poached eggs for scrambled egg whites, which was very difficult for them to understand, but they got it.)


With the little time that I had, I ventured to Redchurch Street, a great shopping area, and stopped at Labour & Wait, which I’m fairly certain is the most Instagram’d shop in London. It’s so cute and the owners were really nice. I popped into a few more places and then checked out BoxPark, an awesome former shipping container turned into shops and restaurants. The top is all food and drinks and the bottom are basically micro shops.


Off to Amsterdam! (But the Paris post will come first.)

General tips/observations

  • Definitely take the Heathrow Express to/from the airport. Taking a cab is SO expensive and takes forever.
  • The sun DOES shine in London! It was sunny and in the 70s almost the whole time we were there.
  • The chip credit cards are good, but the US is still lagging. Apparently now people can just wave their cards and enter a PIN. They immediately know you’re from the US when you put in a chip card.
  • Walk as much as possible. There are so many things to see, and it’s easiest to see them by foot.
  • There were these gorgeous wood and fabric chairs in Hyde Park, by the lake. There were about 50 of them — with no security. Nothing tying them down. And no one took them. They’d be gone in a second in the US.
  • People are baffled by Trump. I’ll leave it at that.

Would I go back?

Remember how I wasn’t super excited to go to London the first time and then ended up loving it? I love it even more now. Obsessed.

Must-try: New restaurants & menu items in Baltimore

Charm City is continually upping its culinary game and local chefs are pulling out all of the stops. I recently tried new menu items at Rusty Scupper and B&O American Brasserie and attended a media preview of Gunther & Co. (opening 5/20!) and was impressed with what I saw/ate/drank.

B&O American Brasserie

Chef Mike Ransom is really one of my favorites. He’s such a nice guy and is constantly coming up with new ideas for dishes. His recent additions didn’t disappoint.

We started with a Wagyu carpaccio with apple pear, watercress, shaved yolk, kewpie mayo, horseradish, and harissa with house crackers. It’s shaved so thin and Mike explained how they shaved the yolk, as well. (I can’t describe it. You basically cure it and can then shave it.) We also loved the giant English peas and fresh herbs in the mixed greens salad.

FullSizeRender 3

To Steve’s delight, grilled calamari was added to the menu. We waxed philosophical with Mike about how much better calamari is when grilled rather than fried. Why hide the deliciousness with fried breading??

IMG_4061There were several new entrees, so it was tough to decide what to try, but I went with the market fish (rockfish) with warm potato salad, more English peas, and corn shoots. The corn shoots are fascinating; they’re from the top of corn and taste exactly like it but look nothing like corn. The potato salad wasn’t mayo based; it had a light lemon dressing.

FullSizeRender 4

Steve went big with the center-cut New York strip and didn’t regret it. He loved the duck fat potatoes, giant asparagus, and roasted maitake mushrooms.

Per usual, Brendan and his team behind the bar mixed up amazing cocktails for the season. (Listing them as Paris in the Springtime made me even more excited to go back to Paris in a month!) I started with the Purple Rain, which was actually created and named before Prince’s death. The lavender infusion was so light but packed a kick. Steve had Learning to Fly with Aviation gin and lemon, which was really light and fresh.


I was talking with Eric Fooy, who was heading the bar that night, and mentioned a drink, the Horsecar, that Brendan made about five years ago but was only on the menu a short time. Eric found the recipe and whipped up the blend of gin, thyme, blueberries, and simple syrup and, to my sheet delight, presented me with the drink I’d had dreams of for years.

Gunther & Co.


Gunther & Co. is the new concept from owner Nancy Mola of 8407 Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring. The awesome team at Collins + Wilson invited me and others in to check out the space, menu, and amazing drinks.

FullSizeRender 5

We started with champagne and oysters in the bar and were treated to head bartender, Shaun Stewart, whipping up amazing drinks. He used the new Sagamore Spirits whiskey to create a version of the Meet the Beet-alls, swapping the gin but keeping the Cynar, beet liquor, rhubarb bitters, and fired orange peel. I could drink this … a lot. It’s dangerously good. He also created a light, tropical-esque pineapple drink with Papa’s Pilar rum and reverse egg white … you just have to go to understand.


We sampled several menu items throughout the evening as we moved through the space, including my favorite, roast pork with mango chutney on a buttermilk biscuit. (I’m having a love affair with chutneys recently.) The roast duck was cooked perfectly and accented with citrus and olives, a unique combo. The shrimp and lemongrass potstickers were a surprise; I wasn’t anticipating Asian influence on the menu. The chocolate pave and buttermilk panna cotta with citrus for dessert made for a perfect ending as we checked out the view from the mezzanine.


I’m excited to get in to Gunther & Co. to try the full menu — especially brunch. The bar opens at 4pm followed by dinner service at 5pm on Friday, May 20, so prepare yourself to be there!

Rusty Scupper

Rusty Scupper has been the go-to seafood restaurant at the Inner Harbor for decades and, with new executive chef William Wilt at the helm, are coming up with innovative new dishes.

Rusty Scupper William Wilt

Steve and I chatted with Ed, the GM, who is always so nice and welcoming. We had the chance to meet William, as well, and he was really excited to share his new dishes and spice up (no pun intended) the classic menu. Chef is changing up the menu each month; below are the May offerings.


Soft Shell Tempura – Tempura-fried jumbo soft shell with spicy cabbage slaw, Sriracha sauce and wasabi aioli


Corn Flake Crusted Whale Soft Shell – Whale-size soft shell crusted with a corn flake-fennel crust served over corn and crab risotto with grilled asparagus and sun-dried tomato basil beurre blanc

Crab Stuffed Soft Shell Saint Michael – Jumbo soft shell stuffed with lump crabmeat dredged in seasoned cornmeal and pan-fried, served over whipped potatoes with warm corn and tomato salad with red pepper coulis and lemon-caper aioli


Blue Point Oysters/large plump salty

Oyster Sampler with Blue Points/large plump salty