Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Pizzeria Orso

spotlightPizzeria Orso, one of ten million pizza places that have recently appeared in Falls Church, is apparently the Northern Virginia equivalent of the famous Two Amys if you’re the type of person who believes food reviews. However, whereas Two Amys is full of screaming children, Pizzeria Orso has bizarre, somewhat frightening paintings of bears in various famous works of art in addition to some pretty good pizza.

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(Photo: News-Press)

 

Pizzeria Orso, one of ten million pizza places that have recently appeared in Falls Church, is apparently the Northern Virginia equivalent of the famous Two Amys if you’re the type of person who believes food reviews. However, whereas Two Amys is full of screaming children, Pizzeria Orso has bizarre, somewhat frightening paintings of bears in various famous works of art in addition to some pretty good pizza.

Pizzeria Orso is one of the fancyish “artisan” places that serves traditional Neapolitan pizzas alongside a wide variety of pan-Italian cuisine and an extensive wine and beer list. So far so good. While it may be oddly located in the Pearson Square Tax Analyst Building (and appears to have no parking spaces at first glance, although the garage to the right has an ample number of spaces), the seats manage to fill up quickly and the place can get noisy at times. However, because it doesn’t have anywhere near the number of screaming children that Two Amys does (I counted zero when I went), the noise is tolerable.

The pizza is simple and great, with a thin crispy crust made of double-zero flour (the kind James Bond eats/is forced to assassinate when it tries to double-cross him) and usually topped with olive oil, buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes in addition to whatever else you’re getting on the pizza. The Giamette pizza with tomato, provola, pepperoni, sausage, salami and ham, although slightly burned on the bottom due to being put in a 900-degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 90 seconds, was meaty without being too filling, crispy and thin without being too small and had just enough olive oil to avoid being too dry or greasy.

The grilled baguette panini with tomato rub and prosciutto di parma was exactly what it sounds like, and had a perfect mix of prosciutto and tomato. For non-Italian speakers, just think of good thick bread stuffed with tasty thinly-sliced meat and you have this sandwich. While $8 for a sandwich is a bit more than I usually pay, this does not disappoint.

The folded Ripieno Salame pizza, chock-full of diced pepperoni, salami, fontina, ricotta, grana with some marinara sauce on the side, was merely an all right calzone that could have been a little warmer. I have no doubt that it would be great after a hard day at the ice mines (where you mine ice, just roll with it), but it seemed sort of soft and uninteresting at the time, although it could easily fill you up so that you won’t have to eat the rest of the day if you’re looking to reduce the number of meals you eat in a day.

The greatest disappointment came with the bruschetta. This grilled sourdough bread concoction was almost insulting to the very idea of bruschetta. Bruschetta is small crispy slices of bread topped with FRESH tomatoes, not marinara sauce. The sauce was decent and kind of spicy, but it doesn’t belong on a bruschetta. Apoplectic with rage, I had to taser myself when I got home just so I wouldn’t go out and do something crazy later.

There’s little doubt that Pizzeria Orso is going to do pretty well for itself. There’s also little doubt that they make good pizza. However, if they’re not going to put forth the effort to make everything great, then we may have some problems. The folded pizza needs a bit of retooling, and the “bruschetta” was flat-out wrong. But once these items are improved and join the large alcohol and pizza selection, there will be no stopping Pizzeria Orso.

Pizzeria Orso
400 South Maple Ave., Falls Church
pizzeriaorso.com
703-226-3460

Hours:

Monday, 5 – 10 p.m.; Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.;

Friday – Saturday. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.;

Sunday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.