Details

Pizzeria Orso

400 S. Maple Ave.
Falls Church, VA 22046

703-226-3460

Neighborhood: Falls Church

Cuisines: Tapas/Small Plates, Pizza, Italian

Nearby Metro Stops: East Falls Church

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Noise Level: N/A

Reservations: Not Needed

Website: http://www.pizzeriaorso.com

Best Dishes:
Eggs in Hell; eggplant Parmesan; Margherita, Vongole, Cotto e Funghi, and Diavola pizzas; chocolate-chip and pistachio cannoli.

Price Details:
Starters $5 to $12, pizzas $7 to $18.

Cheap Eats 2011: Pizzeria Orso

This Neapolitan pizzeria--backed by the team behind the Falls Church destination restaurant 2941--produces some of the best pies to come out of a 900-degree oven in Washington. Despite the loss this year of star pizzaiolo Edan MacQuaid, the crusts are still deliciously sourdough-like and the toppings incredibly fresh.

Even basic pizzas, such as the Margherita, with buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, and the Diavola, with spicy pepperoni, are rewarding, with their slightly charred, puffy rims and thin but not soggy base. Too many toppings can weigh down the delicate crusts, so simpler options--often seasonal specials such as a spring pie with ramps and garlic--are the best bets.

The antipasti aren't on a par with the pizzas. They're occasionally good (a seafood soup with a fennel-and-tomato base) but often mediocre (pasta arrabbiata). Save room instead for the wonderful pistachio cannoli.

Also good: Crudo pizza with prosciutto, arugula, and basil; Torino pie with fontina, ham, and mushrooms; soft lemon doughnuts with Nutella cream.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.