Pizzeria Orso (Italian for bear) opened in Falls Church last June and has been getting impressive reviews from local publications since. Prior to opening, it gained buzz due to their chef, Edan MacQuaid, who has created pies for the popular NoVa joints, 2 Amys, Pizzeria Paradiso and RedRocks in Washington. It also helps that the owners of the fancy French restaurant 2941– also in Falls Church– refers to Orso as their sister restaurant.
The neapolitan pizzeria, not nearly as fancy as its sister, has an open and relaxed dining area with high ceilings and sporadic images of bears. There is even a bear statue upon entering.
To start, my friend and I ordered the suppli al telefono. Or, fried risotto balls. For $5, six of them are topped with a bit of salt that seemed weird at first, but it was a nice compliment to the risotto and melted buffalo mozzarella. As I used my fork to break open the appetizer, mozzarella oozed out.
Steam was still coming out when we got down to the final risotto ball. It looks as though prior to frying the risotto, some sort of tomato sauce is mixed within that brings even more flavor to the delicious starter.
The service at Orso was extremely helpful when it came to describing the pizza. The wood-burning oven was crafted in Italy and shipped to the restaurant. It can reach 900 degrees and that’s hot enough for some of their pizzas to cook in about 30 seconds. Each pizza is individual sized (12″), but I think most could probably split one. That being said, my friend and I decided to order our own. We like to eat.
Per the recommendation of our waiter, we went with the crudo pizza for $15: tomato, mozzarella, basil, arugula, shaved grana (a milder parmesadn) and prosciutto.Another standout creation was the mezzaluna: half margherita pizza and half folded with ricotta, grana and pesto inside.
They don’t shy away from the arugula at Orso. I left some on the pizza, but had to push the rest to side. The pizza had strips of prosciutto baked right in and as I picked it up to have my first bite I was a little disappointed. No, not because of the taste. Instead, it was because the pizza wasn’t cut. I’d be interested to hear why they do this. I’m lazy and ended up tearing my first slice out.
There’s nothing like pizza from a wood-burning grill. It brings such an authentic flavor and pair that with prosciutto, I’m one happy girl. They give you a decent amount of the prosciutto too. You can also tell the sauce is fresh and homemade.
Of course, reading other reviews, there are some who remain loyal to 2 Amy’s and have found ways to nitpick Orso. In order to compare, it looks like I need to schedule a dining session with Amy..and Amy.