One of the many things I love about St. Louis is how it’s made up of many neighborhoods with each having it’s own unique personality. Typically each of those neighborhoods has a restaurant or bar that is deeply rooted into the fabric of that small community. One such restaurant in Tower Grove is the Shaved Duck.
I originally found the Shaved Duck while searching for a restaurant in St. Louis that had duck fat fries. Unfortunately duck fat fries are no longer on the menu but there is plenty of unique items to choose from. During my most recent visit I tasted the Big Jimmy Sampler and the smoked duck entrée.
The Big Jimmy Sampler is St. Louis style spare ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken. Unlike a lot of BBQ places where you smell the smoke when you walk in, at the Shaved Duck I only noticed it when the food landed at my table. The ribs were good but not as tender as you might get at Pappy’s (they have a bit more chew to them). The pulled pork, pulled chicken, and brisket were all on the dry side. All of them have good flavor, but I typically prefer my BBQ to be more juicy. The Habanero BBQ sauce though was killer. I would put it on everything.
The highlight of my most recent visit was the smoked duck breast.
It had a subtle smoke flavor. The cherry juniper jam was the perfect way to top the duck. It is an idea that I have stolen and made my own when preparing duck at home. I will definitely order this dish again. My only complaint was that it was gone so quickly!
The Shaved Duck is a neighborhood favorite in Tower Grove. I am typically a fan of more tender and juicy BBQ but there is still plenty of food I enjoy at this restaurant. Besides the smoked duck, I love the walnut and sugar encrusted bacon, the smoked chicken wings, and the confit pot pie.
Dive 2 Five Scale: 3. I love the neighborhood feel of this place. It’s a very small and intimate place. If you are going on a weeknight, try to arrive before 7 so you can avoid waiting outside. It has a great selection of beers featuring several local breweries. There is live music on a regular basis, but it’s not so loud that you can’t enjoy a conversation at your table.