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all photos: Jeff Martin

Let’s face it, it was only a matter of time before Neighborhood Restaurant Group started their colonization of Georgetown. In fact, some may argue their first restaurant in this neighborhood is almost overdue in some ways. And the concept is pure blockbuster: The Sovereign, a bistro and bar that will pay tribute to Belgian cuisine and brewing.

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Located at 1204 Wisconsin Ave NW (where the old Blue Gin used to be, tucked into an alley right off of Wisconsin and M) The Sovereign is a two floor that follows the winning set-up of Churchkey and Birch & Barley: 84-seat first floor dining room and 47-seat bar on the second floor. The booths are comfortable, the lighting is flattering, and the bars are long.

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Belgian beer nerds unite: under beer director Greg Engert’s tutelage, will offer “the widest array of drafts and bottles from the very best Belgian brewers” which translates into 50 drafts and 200+ bottles from the very best Belgian brewers.Some of the highlights include: the deliciously dry offerings of De la Senne, De Ranke and Kerkom, singular farmhouse ales, including those of Blaugies and Thiriez and (so much) more.

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But, don’t forget the food too: Peter Smith, formerly of of PS7 and Vidalia, has developed a menu featuring rustic ingredient-driven dishes of Belgian cuisine, which draws from French, German and Dutch cooking traditions.

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Expect: domestically farmed, bottom harvested Dutch-style mussels, a range of Flammkuchen or Tartes Flambé, and a variety of braises and stews such as Lapin a la Kriek or Rabbit in Cherry Beer, but, for those more casual evenings, also traditional small bites (such as Saucisse Ardennaise, anchovies and pickled onion, or gruyere with caraway seeds).

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Come hungry AND thirsty.

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