From a press release:
“Greg Engert, Beer Director for Neighborhood Restaurant Group, announces the opening of The Sovereign, a bar and bistro located at 1206 Wisconsin Ave NW (at the end of the alley at M St. NW & Wisconsin Ave. NW) in Georgetown later this Fall. The two-story bar and bistro will be comprised of an 84-seat first floor dining room and 47-seat bar on the second floor. Known for his award-winning beer lists at Birch & Barley, ChurchKey, Rustico and more, Greg Engert is now curating and creating a Belgian beer list unlike any other at The Sovereign alongside a menu of classic Belgian cuisine from Executive Chef Peter Smith.
The Sovereign will showcase the widest array of drafts and bottles from the very best Belgian brewers. With 50 drafts and 200+ bottles, the beer program will feature the work of Belgian brewers who embody the standards, techniques, and innovative spirit that underpins the fabled Belgian brewing culture.
Just as The Sovereign will be championing brewers that use simple, true recipes and let technique and patience yield complex flavors, so will the menu feature rustic ingredient-driven dishes of Belgian cuisine, which draws from French, German and Dutch cooking traditions. Executive Chef Peter Smith of PS7 and Vidalia has developed the menu –which will be available throughout the restaurant and bar– by combining his French training with experience gained while traveling through Belgium with Engert.
While dishes will change with the seasons and use local ingredients, Smith has also worked to source key products like domestically farmed, bottom harvested Dutch-style mussels. Diners will also find traditional small bites (such as Saucisse Ardennaise, anchovies and pickled onion, or gruyere with caraway seeds, 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.
The Sovereign is committed to celebrating the brewers –many of them little known and rarely found in the US –who are sustaining and evolving the brewing traditions and culture that created Belgium’s reputation as a beer mecca. An expansive breadth of selections will illuminate the flavor-driven, craft-brewed complexity that is the trademark of the best Belgian beers. Selections in constant rotation will include:
-The deliciously dry offerings of De la Senne, De Ranke and Kerkom, among others.
-Singular farmhouse ales, including those of Blaugies and Thiriez (Thiriez crafts Belgian-style ales just over the West Flanders border in Northern France).
-Balanced, complex and bold Belgian strong ales, including those of De Dolle, and De Struise.
-The work of Trappist Monastic producers such as Achel and Rochefort.
-Authentic Lambic from Belgian brewers and blenders: Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen, Girardin, Tilquin, and De Cam.
-Up-and-coming Belgian brewers, including Alvinne, Jandrain-Jandrenouille, and Sainte Helene.
-The best international producers of Belgian-style ales, such as Dieu du Ciel (Quebec) and Toccalmatto (Italy) alongside selections from American brewers like Jolly Pumpkin, Prairie, Crooked Stave and Jester King.
The Sovereign will bring the same care and precision to its beer program as Engert brings to his other programs at venue like Birch & Barley and ChurchKey. Temperature controlled taps and coolers will ensure the selections are served at appropriate temperatures and a variety of glassware from Belgium is being imported especially for the bistro and bar.
Wine Director Brent Kroll and BAR & Spirits Director Jeff Faile will round out the beverage offerings. The wine program will emphasize old world wines–including many from lesser known regions–that are also sustainable, organic and biodynamic. Jeff Faile’s cocktails will be supplemented by an extensive selection of Genever sourced from storied but hard-to-find European producers.
The Sovereign will open with dinner and brunch service.”