pizzeria orso.

Over the past few years, I have heard rave reviews about Pizzeria Orso from a few different friends. However, I don’t find myself dining in Falls Church often. Though I have many friends out west, it seems we usually end up eating at the same couple spots. Recently, my dear friend Lauren of Fairfax and I wanted to find a good halfway location to meet up on a weeknight. Since I can’t stand Tysons Corner these days (I know it will get better at some point, but when?) and since Lost Dog is a wonderful–but now maybe overused–fallback, we decided to check out Pizzeria Orso.

As I crossed over Route 7 and started turning down streets to get to the place, I began to wonder if I was lost. The area was a bit rundown, then I was somehow in a neighborhood, but then all of a sudden, I saw Pizzeria Orso. The location seemed a bit random at first, but I parked on the residential street and ventured inside. The environment didn’t “wow” me initially either, so in a judgmental mindset, I prepared myself for a mediocre meal.

A very nice waitress came over and told Lauren and I about the menu, saying most of it was tapas-style. Nice. Even though the rave reviews I’d heard had been about the pizzas, we both went for tapas. Lauren ordered the Baby Romaine Salad (grilled onions, dill-buttermilk caesar, anchovies) and the Sweet Corn Agnolotti (crab and early corn ragout). I went for the Prosciutto & Melon Salad (arugula, candied almonds, sherry vinaigrette) and the BLT Gnocci (spinach gnocchi, truffled-cream, applewood-smoked bacon, tomato). I was impressed by the ingredients, but I was feeling cynical and not expecting much. It was a muggy night and we had no idea where we were in Falls Church. Then the dishes arrived.

Wow, what presentations! The beautifully-styled displays definitely got us intrigued. We took our first bites and we were hooked. It was one of those meals where we had so much to talk about, but our awe of the food kept interrupting the conversation!

More specifically, there was a lovely spice to the Prosciutto & Melon Salad. Melons can be bland, but this dish was quite flavorful. Lauren’s Baby Romaine Salad wasn’t incredible. It came with whole anchovies on top, but once she took those out of the way, she enjoyed it. Our entrees were mind-blowing.

Then the waitress brought out a surprise dish that we both had actually been eyeing earlier: The Grilled Brie with Peach Compote. Wow. The brie and the bread were both grilled and this technique lended a lovely smoked flavor to a simple dish that would have been stunning even without that aspect.

Our waitress asked if we wanted dessert, but we declined easily on behalf of our full stomachs. Then this came out, on the house as well!

I don’t recall the exact names, but the green cream was a pistachio cream and the brown cream was a gnutella cream. The desserts definitely weren’t necessary, but we gratefully took a sampling and enjoyed them very much.

We’re hooked, Pizzeria Orso. Honestly, I need to come back and try the wine next. Apparently, the selection was chosen by 2941‘s sommelier. I’ve already recommended this place to a few friends and family members. It’s definitely worth checking out!

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  1. says

    Emily & I went there earlier this summer and were surprisingly delighted, too! We just got small plates and wine, but your review makes me want to go again sometime for an entree. I also loved how we were brought several things on the house!

    • says

      I’m glad you all enjoyed it too! I know I said we ordered “entrees,” but we actually chose all small plates too. I do want to try the pizza! That’s awesome you all got dishes on the house as well! :)

  2. pete says

    Glad you finally made it to Orso. They were initially well known for their pizza, but they went through 2 or 3 different pizzaiolos and lost their edge. The latest has focused his talents on the small plates (as you now know), but the pizza is still solid. I had the gnocchi, arancini, and a few pizzas. Had a good wine by the glass too. All really quite good. Pretty cool you got two comps!


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