September 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm EDT | by William George
New bites abound

The culinary minds that brought us Capitol Hill pizza boutique Matchbox have a new venture called Ted’s Bulletin (505 8th St. S.E.).

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Ted’s menu is stacked with classic dishes geared toward comforting the diner with large portions (the whimsically named “Walk of Shame” breakfast burrito easily feeds two) and evoking a 1930s sidecar diner feel.

Highlights include a meatloaf made with beef ground in house that’s served with an interesting Mingo county ketchup glaze, a hefty half rack of barbecue ribs and thick ice cream shakes served in frosty tallboy glasses. Reasonably priced, Ted’s is a great stop for those looking for good value for great food.

Popular Leesburg pie parlor FireWorks Pizza has opened in Arlington, bringing wood-fired-oven-baked specialties – rounded out by salads, appetizers and entrees – to a trendy inside-the-Beltway neighborhood.

The ultra-mod interior includes booths and tables along big windows overlooking the courtyard, a huge patio with a fire pit and a long, curved bar dispensing 31 craft beers on tap, two cask-conditioned ales and the proverbial 100 bottles of suds, along with wine and specialty cocktails (2350 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington).

If you’re looking for other Italian options, Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza (4940 Wisconsin Ave N.W.) has opened a second store between the Tenleytown and Friendship Heights neighborhoods of northwest D.C. This new location features more choices of the New Haven-style pizza by the slice, more fresh pasta dishes, an expanded draft beer selection and two daily Al Forno dishes (one of which will be vegetarian). Also for the first time, gelato and sorbetto will be made on the premises. Its first restaurant is in Columbia Heights.

While in Columbia Heights, you should stop by British gastropub and perennial favorite Commonwealth and enjoy the extended “snacks” menu and weekly patio spit roasts served Thursdays through Sundays until the end of September.

This new collection of small plates is being implemented to bolster the extensive beer program. The spit roasts showcase whatever proteins are available at market such as chicken, turkey, pork shoulder or roast beef and is a great way to tap into one’s inner caveman. (1400 Irving St. N.W.)

The Philadelphia-inspired sandwich makers Taylor have opened their third storefront in a sleek new Bethesda location. The menu features hoagies and appetizers like fried rice balls (they’re tastier than they sound) plus a full menu served out of an open kitchen with counter seating. (7280 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda).

There’s a new addition to the tapas scene from the great chefs behind wine bar Proof. Estadio, the new Northern Spanish concept from owner Mark Kuller and chef Haidar Karoum looks to reinvent the small plate movement with an emphasis on eclecticism.

Selections include tortilla de camarones (small shrimp pancake), fideos (Spanish pasta) and salmorejo (thickened gazpacho). The menu has a three-tiered pricing concept with the smallest plates starting at $3, traditional tapas plates between $5 and $11, and the entrées falling between $12 and $19. (1520 14th St. N.W.)

And in reality television news, Bravo has finally crowned a new “Top Chef” in Kevin Sbraga of Willingboro, N.J. In the first international finale of the series, chef Sbraga overcame fellow contestants Angelo Sosa and Ed Cotton in a four course serving challenge that included a vegetable course, a fish course, a meat course and a required dessert.

Former “Top Chef” champions returned to assist the contestants in the kitchen. However, if you’re still hankering for kitchen competition, the new show in the “Top Chef” franchise “Top Chef: Just Desserts” premiered last week and focuses on pastry chefs and the drama that follows them.

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