400 S Maple Ave.
Falls Church, VA 22046
CUISINE Italian, Pizza
PRICE $$ ($13-$20)
HOURS Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, late-night dining Friday and Saturday.
NVM AWARDS Best Restaurant 2012
NEARBY METRO None
SPECIAL FEATURESAccepts Credit Cards
By Warren Rojas
Having earned a reputation as the poster boy for Neapolitan pies during his whirlwind tour of the local pizzaverse, Edan MacQuaid remains the man everyone expects to see wielding the peel when they stroll into Orso.
So, there he toils—wearing a roughly 3- x 2-foot trench in front of the blazing brick oven, methodically shepherding pies from oven to plate in 80-odd-second intervals before beginning the process anew with another flour-y disc.
Sorry, chef. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thea, his wife and Orso’s general manager, twirls about the establishment like an airborne pizza, tending to guests and administrative duties with boundless energy and infectious charm. And staff pitches in by keeping patrons abreast of daily specials ranging from Marsala-steamed clams to fennel-farro soup to pineapple-topped pies.
Oversized panuozzos put traditional sandwiches to shame, plying fans of foldable snacking with combinations like capicola, caramelized onions and arugula or roasted peppers, mushrooms and shaved pecorino (a salty-smoky tour de force).
A mixture of heavy cream, fragrant basil and gooey provolone almost makes us swear off tomato sauce entirely, the aforementioned trio compelling us to finish off every last bite of dairy-deluged crust.
House-made cannoli yield crunchy shells flush with chocolate chip-mascarpone (good), citrusy cream (better) or pistachio (best).