In a city full of fancy restaurants, it can be hard to find one that truly stands out. But east of the river, Kitchen Savages is a fresh take on fine dining where soul food is on the menu, neighborhood block party is in the air, and the community is the only thing that really matters.
Kitchen Savages is a typical fine-dining scene. Intimate tables dressed in black linens and topped with golden flatware, waitstaff scurrying around in black button-downs and ties, filling water cups before they’re empty. It's full of people on date nights and families enjoying special evenings out.
But patrons are singing along, sometimes loudly and off-key, to ’90s R&B blasting from the speakers. Laughter rings over the lulls in the music and occasionally there’s a little dancing when a real banger comes on. And you won’t find any stuffy maitre d’ wandering the room asking people to keep it down.
Because, while Kitchen Savages is upscale, it’s also come-as-you-are. There’s no dress code, so folks are sucking the juice out of lamb chop bones in their work uniforms, sweats, suits, dresses, and anything in between. Their signature dish, the savage fries, is meant to be eaten in some messy combination of fork and fingers. And if you want to have group karaoke across the restaurant, you can.
Since the Anacostia spot is fun and welcoming, it’s easy to overlook the inconsistent food. Some days, the fresh habanero in the homemade jerk seasoning has you sniffling in the best way while you slurp the alfredo sauce over penne pasta. Other days, the lobster mac and cheese is salty and under-seasoned, and the lamb chops are overcooked. But the drinks are always on point and so are the savage fries, which are topped with shrimp, crab, and a creole sauce so good you’ll want to dip potatoes in it for the rest of your life.
The fries are crispy and smothered in tangy creole sauce. They could’ve stopped there. But instead, they top it with shrimp and crab. Enough said.
Jerk Lamb Chops
The jerk seasoning here is homemade and so fresh you can taste the habanero. The lamb is tender, and is served in a few dishes, including the jerk pasta, made with a rich, creamy alfredo sauce.
Lobster Mac And Cheese
When it’s done well, this is our favorite dish. The cast-iron skillet comes out with a whole fried lobster tail that’s crispy, yet juicy. And the more you chew the mac and cheese, the more the four cheeses build on each other, creating a really deep, melty flavor.