Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Pizzeria Orso, Falls Church, VA

Pizza is all about the crust: the flavor, the textures, the char. I had some delicious pizza with amazing crust at Falls Church, VA's recently opened Pizzeria Orso.
We started with several items off their Antipasti menu.
We had some of Orso's Bruschetta made with grilled sourdough bread topped with a garlic rub, olive oil and sea salt.

Accompanying the bread we ate marinated grilled zucchini, eggplant, some smashed tomatoes and sweet onions, and really good lightly pickled Pioppini mushrooms with sweet peperonata.

We then followed with a platter of grilled chicken wings and legs, grilled ricotta salata chicken crostini topped with little onion rings, and arrosticini- grilled lamb skewers.
We tried a platter of fritture which included potato crocche (cheesy potato croquettes) and Suppli al Telefono- fried risotto balls with tomato sauce stuffed with melted buffalo mozzarella cheese. I really liked the risotto balls.

I then had a small bowl of Pappa al Pomodoro, a bread & tomato soup that reminded me a little of congee or French onion soup sans the cheese.

Finally, after all these great appetizers, we got to the pizza. Orso specializes in Neapolitan style pizza cooked in a wood burning oven. One particular thing about their crust is that the pizzaialo uses a sourdough starter to give it a very special flavor and texture.
The crust is thin, ballooning out a little at the edges with excellent char. It stays crispy with a little squish in the middle, and it is important to note that the pizzaialo does not cut the pies as it allows them to continue to cook after leaving the oven and prevents what he calls "soupiness".
It reminded me strongly of the pizza I've had at Pizzeria Mozza in LA, but it seems more like a genuine pizza crust at Orso than the "bakery" feel from the crust at Mozza. I do think I prefer Orso's because of this.
I tried several pizzas at Orso. I ordered the Romana- tomato, anchovies, capers, olives, basil, garlic w/o cheese.
The Margherita DOC with tomato, buffalo mozzarella, & basil was bona fide. Impressive was also the Vongole with grana, capers, parsley, cockles in shell, & hot pepper flakes, and the Cotto e Funghi with cream, provola, ham, mushrooms, & basil.
Orso also had an interesting choice of stuffed pies as well.
We finished dinner with to go pizza boxes and tasty cannolis. I had a pistachio.
I drove 90 min to eat here, and I would be happy to go again.

400 South Maple Avenue
Falls Church, VA

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