The Shaved Duck, the rustic American cousin to The Scottish Arms in the Central West End, is located on the corner of Virginia and Pestalozzi, in a mostly residential stretch of the Tower Grove East neighborhood. Although unassuming from the outside, once inside, the interior of the restaurant exuded an inviting warmth reminiscent of a UK public house, despite the culinary focus on the comfort foods of the Colonies. As soon as we walked in, we felt the urge to have a pint and watch some rugby.
We started at the beginning of the menu with the Appetizers. Our order of Smothered Fries ($9), hand-cut and topped with tender pulled rib meat and cheese sauce, was big enough that it could almost have made an appearance as an entree with just a bit more pork in the mix. This dish—plus a couple of fine libations from the impressive bottled beer list—would make for a great solo dining experience!
The Duck’s menu had some tempting offerings listed under Flatbreads, Gumbos and Salads, but we decided to do the carnivore thing. Under Piggy and Ducky, we ordered the Bratwurst Burger ($10), a juicy brat in patty form, topped with smoked onions, dried mango, swiss cheese and a maple dijon sauce. It came with a choice of one side, and we opted for the Jalapeno Cream Corn (available separately for $5). While a flat bratwurst took a little getting used to, once we got our head around enjoying a savory sausage that wasn’t tube-shaped, we couldn’t get enough! Diners shouldn’t be put off by the fact that there are peppers in the cream corn, either. The jalapenos provided just a touch of subtle heat. Then from Smokehouse Specialties we chose the Smoked Meatloaf ($11), which came coated with a delicious root beer glaze. For our side, we tried the Green Bean Casserole (available separately for $5). The meatloaf was revelatory—a glorious combination of the best comfort foods from the grill and the oven! As we’ve said before, you can tell a lot about a restaurant from the care they take with their side dishes, and the green bean casserole proved us right again.
To round out the meal we had the Pear Cobbler ($7). Because of the delicate taste of the pears, this dessert wasn’t as sweet as other cobblers, and it was topped with a scoop of ice cream that was chockfull of gingerbread chunks.
For those who want to stop by during the day, The Shaved Duck also offers a lunch menu that features many of the less time-intensive dinner items, as well as a sandwich special, and catering and takeout also are available. The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations, and we recommend getting there earlier rather than later. Dinner service begins at 5 p.m., and we stopped by not long after that, and during the middle of the week. By the time we finished up, there was a significant group of folks waiting for seats. Between the atmosphere and the food, we could easily understand why.
The Shaved Duck • 2900 Virginia Ave. • 776-1407
1 cup Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sriracha
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
Editor's Note: The Shaved Duck serves this sauce on its Bratwurst Burger, but it's also great on any kind of pork, or even hot dogs!