Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pizzeria Orso

When Pizzeria Orso opened in Falls Church in 2010, many argued it was suburbia's answer to 2Amys. After all, opening day pizzaiolo Edan MacQuaid had been working the ovens at 2Amys for years in addition to stints at some of DC's other pizza temples. The positive reviews came fast and furious, and we knew we had to get ourselves out to Falls Church for a pie or two.

Life sped by and before we knew it, months had passed. MacQuaid parted ways with Orso before we got a chance to check out his pizzas. Undeterred by his departure and subsequent plummeting reviews, we stopped in to Pizzeria Orso on a trip home from Dulles.

The atmosphere felt much more Mellow Mushroom than 2Amys, and it was mostly empty on this stormy Friday night. We settled in with tomato arancini (risotto balls) and the Sardinian Salad (mixed greens, salami, pepperoni, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, grana, Sardinian flatbread). I wasn't a fan of the risotto balls as they had an overpowering tomato flavor and were so small that they tasted more of fried breading than risotto. The salad was a dream come true for people who like their salads disguised as charcuterie platters. It was packed with meaty morsels but yet still managed to strike a nice balance with the field greens and delicate dressing.

On the suggestion of our waitress we tried the Orso Bianco pizza with mozzarella, pecorino Tuscano, fontina and grana cheeses along with a vampire-repelling dose of garlic. A very good rendition of the classic "white pizza" with a chewy/crispy crust rivaling the best we've tried in DC.

We also tried the Crudo topped with arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella, grana, tomato, and basil.

Both pizzas were solid and provided us with plenty of leftovers for the next day. If you put pizzas from 2Amys, Red Rocks, and Orso in front of me in a blind taste test, I'm not sure I'd find a ton of difference between the pies. If we're in Falls Church and we want pizza, we'll be back to Orso. Worth a drive when we're blessed with so many other pizza options in the district? Probably not.

Second Thoughts from B

I'm not shy about my love of garlic. When people aren't looking (or sometimes even when they are), I'm the guy who licks the bottom of the garlic fries cup to eat the chopped garlic.

I'm also not shy about my love of all things salty. We're talking "in need of an intervention and possibly rehab" love of salt. When I was younger and dumber, I would eat chips and crackers in front of the TV until the salt burned my tongue. Gross, right? Let's just say I don't allow myself to walk down the snack aisle at the grocery store.

So when a white pizza arrived in front of me covered in a carnival of salty cheeses and garlic, I was a happy camper. Salt and garlic are the duct tape of the kitchen in my mind. If you add enough, any meal can be salvaged.

I'm not saying this pizza needed salvaging . I'm just saying that it had enough cheesy, garlicky, salty goodness that it could be two week old DiGiorno and I wouldn't complain... but anyone that had to live with me for the next couple of days might.
Pizzeria Orso on Urbanspoon

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