The Sovereign, a Belgian pub and bistro in Georgetown, serves traditional Belgian dishes alongside more than 50 draft beers.
The restaurant focuses on Belgian dishes like Moules-Frites – or mussels and fries – and waffles but also highlights French, German and Dutch cooking techniques and ingredients. Its extensive beer selection – 50 draft and 350 bottled options that are heavily influenced by Belgian brewers – is curated by an in-house beer director.
Spotting the entrance is tricky. With a keen eye, you can find The Sovereign at 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW. A small sign reading the restaurant’s name stands on a sidewalk in front of an alleyway, which is lined with lanterns leading to a small staircase and a large red door. A blue-tiled sign with blocky yellow letters spelling out ‘SOVEREIGN’ is mounted above the door.
To accommodate its extensive beer and wine selection, The Sovereign has two full bars. The first-floor bar area has plenty of seating, dim yellow lighting and a more lively atmosphere than its upstairs counterpart. Dark mahogany wood covers the space from floor to ceiling and red leather stools accent the bar.
The upstairs bar area has a brighter, more casual feel. Windows usher in natural light, making the long line of silver beer tap handles sparkle. Two chandeliers decorated with sculpted golden deer heads hang over two wooden tables in the center of the room, and booths line the edges.
This Friday, The Sovereign is also offering a special three-course Valentine’s Day menu for $45 per person. It features dishes like steak tartare, mussels with a white wine lemon sauce, lentil risotto and a dessert waffle with strawberries and bavarian cream.
Its regular menu, which will also be available on Valentine’s Day, features flatbreads, or flammekueches ($12), with toppings like sauerkraut and bratwurst, roasted mushroom or bacon lardon and gruyere. Main options range from a crispy duck leg confit with a red wine sauce ($26) to a beef burger with beer onion jam and gruyere mustard fondue served on an English muffin ($16).
The Sovereign has decadent dessert options for your romantic Valentine’s date. One standout is the “dressed gaufre liegoise,” or fancy waffles. There are four waffle options: one with chocolate cream, candied pistachios and cherry compote; one with vanilla cream, coffee caramel and candied almonds; one with strawberries and vanilla cream; and a final with Nutella and fresh banana.
The Nutella, banana waffle ($9) sounded enticingly chocolatey, and since I was after decadence, I ordered it.
The waffle is smaller than one from a breakfast joint but is just enough to share with another person for dessert. It has a crisp, golden exterior and a warm, moist interior. The top is slathered with Nutella which melts into the waffle’s square crevices. A frothy, buttery cream is layered between the Nutella and toasted hazelnut pieces, and slices of fresh banana are arranged decoratively around the edge of the waffle.
The small round waffle is thick and holds up nicely to the mountain of toppings. The Nutella is rich, and the toasted hazelnuts add complexity and an extra crunch to the Nutella’s hazelnut flavor.
This dessert waffle would pair nicely with a cold glass of milk or even a pint of a refreshing cider. It is extremely rich but hits the spot if you’re craving a chocolate dessert.
Stop by The Sovereign for satisfying dessert options, a taste of traditional Belgium dishes or a few glasses of internationally brewed beer.