Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Preview: Church & State

Photo courtesy of
‘Church and State’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

Consistency and creativity are the two elements Erik Holzherr strives for in his bars. Add to that the well-deserved cliche of infectious enthusiasm – after just a few minutes of talking to him about his newest venture at the media preview for Church & State, I swear fellow WLDC authors Ashley, Samer and I are ready to go forth and open our own bar! Strike that. We’ll just be content with spreading the cocktail gospel.

Erik already has two popular bars in DC, both serving as outposts in developing neighborhoods. Wisdom was followed by Fruit Bat, and now Church & State is open to the public. Upstairs from Fruit Bat on H Street NE, it’s got such a gothic sensibility I found myself seriously craving a clove cigarette. Next time you feel the need to don the vintage finery, this is the bar to visit. Dimly lit, with reclaimed wood, flickering altar candles, and plenty of stained glass make for a striking effect. Add in an actual confessional room that gave Ashley and I total Exorcist chills, plus a raised alcove with a majestic leather couch that will definitely be fought over, and you have a small temple to the American cocktail. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Night Life, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Preview: Fruit Bat

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘erin m’

Wednesday night I was graciously invited by Erik Holzherr (owner of one of We Love DC’s favorite barsWisdom) to a preview of his new bar, Fruit Bat. Located on H Street NE between 12th and 13th, in the spot formerly occupied by the H Street Martini Lounge, my first impression is that it will quickly become a favorite of Atlas District locals, and certainly is worth the trip for those of us in other parts of the city. Tonight is the official opening; here’s a taste of what you can expect.

Erik is part Colombian, and he wanted to give Fruit Bat a relaxed Latin American feel. The most striking feature of the long narrow room lined with simple tables and a bar is the “living wall” that will develop organically as time goes by. Hung on the exposed brick wall are staghorn ferns mounted on wooden boards with grow lights. They’re just babies now but I can imagine how amazingly lush they will make the space as they grow. Fresh herbs are also grown behind the bar and fruit is everywhere. The scent of fried plaintains drove me mad. It all adds to the tropical feel – I think Hemingway and his daiquiri would’ve been right at home.

Speaking of drinks, as you would expect from the owner of Wisdom the craft cocktail menu at Fruit Bat is thoughtfully delicious. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Special Events, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Preview: ARTINI

Erik Holzherr of Wisdom's ARTINI. Photo credit: T. Silva. Courtesy of the Corcoran ARTINI 2010 Committee.

This Saturday the Corcoran Gallery of Art presents ARTINI, and if you’ve been waffling about attending I hear there are roughly less than 100 tickets still left, but going fast and not available at the door. So jump!

ARTINI is a fabulous event mixing two of my favorite things – art and cocktails. Twelve local mixologists have created drinks inspired by works in the current exhibit at Corcoran, A Love of Europe: Highlights from the William A. Clark Collection. Preview events featuring the submissions have been ongoing this month (I know, I know, I should’ve told you earlier, mea culpa, it’s been a crazy time lately). Tonight you can sample Art & Soul and tomorrow try out Rasika from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the respective restaurants. The Washingtonian is a co-sponsor and handles the voting, with the winning artini announced Saturday. The inspiration works will be on display that night as well.

The cocktail reception runs from 8pm to midnight, with $85 tickets for 1869 Society members and $100 for non-1869 Society members. That includes a cocktail bar, music by DJ Chris Nitti, and tours of both the Clark exhibit and Turner to Cezanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection. Proceeds support ArtReach, which provides free high-quality arts education programs to underserved communities in DC.

So many mixologists already take their inspiration from art. It’s a natural collaboration. Here’s a quick rundown of who’s on board and a few teasers to get you in the mood. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features

WeLoveDC Presents: Cocktails at Wisdom


Looking to take your understanding of drinks to the next level? Experience the handcrafted cocktail revolution firsthand at Wisdom Cocktail Parlour on February 23 from 6-8 p.m. with the WeLoveDC Crew.

Wisdom’s Erik Holzherr will be dishing on the art of the cocktail, suggesting what you might enjoy in one, and offering up some amazing libations poured especially for you.

Tickets, which include your first craft cocktail, are $15 ahead of time or $20 at the door (space permitting). Food and happy hour specials will also be available.

To sweeten the deal:

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