A sneak peek at the menu at Virtue Feed & Grain

Cathal Armstrong plans to open Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town June 9 with Ryan Wheeler (his sous chef at Restaurant Eve ) at the helm of the one-time feed house with dishes that fall into a handful of enticing categories.

“Typical of what you’d find in a pub in Ireland or a bar in America,” says the native Dubliner: Ham and cheese “toasties” and Buffalo wings.

“Things I think people like to eat:” Farm-house chicken and chips and scallops with risotto.

“Fun and weird things:” Enter pigs’ feet and kidneys in red wine.

“Sugar fix:” Stewed fruit with custard and Bakewell tart (made with pie pastry, sponge cake and jam).

The prices fit the times. Entrees at the two-story, 250-seat tavern average $18. There will be fun on the menu, too. Stay tuned for “a pajama party for brunch,” says Armstrong, who plans to offer a yet-to-be-determined discount to revelers who dress for the occasion.

Is the entrepreneur feeling stretched? “Having everything within walking distance will help,” says Armstrong, who also counts Majestic and the speakeasy known as PX among his establishments. This fall, he and his partners plan to unveil Society Fair, a combination bakery, butcher shop and wine bar at 277 S. Washington St.

His empire is growing, but Armstrong is not. Thanks in part to working out with a trainer and imbibing only on Sundays, the top chef has shed 30 pounds since October.

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.


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