I dined at Pizzeria Orso last night for the first (but certainly not the last) time. Edan’s (Shango) new restaurant lives up to the hype. The atmosphere is very nice, open with plenty of space around the tables. You have a great view of the Forno Napoletano oven which is manned by Edan who was happy to chat with me when I came over to say hello. The staff is young and friendly and provides good service. Most importantly, the pizza is excellent.
We started out with Neapolitan salami and an order of ricotta salata. Both of which were very tasty, although I would have preferred the salami without the drizzle of olive oil. We also tried the fried squash blossoms which were a bit heavy in my mind. We then settled in for the main course – pizza.
First up was a Pizza Margherita DOC. The crust was soft and very nicely charred with a moderate sized cornicione. The flavor from simple tomato sauce and the fresh buffalo was very good. This classic was very authentic in my mind, similar to pizza I’ve had at Da Michele in Naples.
The second pizza was a Cotto e Funghi, which has cream, provola, ham, mushrooms, and basil. This was outstanding. I’d never had this pizza before, and the flavors blended together perfectly. The cream was rich but not overpowering and went well with the ham and mushrooms. This pie also had very good leoparding and a slightly puffier edge (I think the oven was getting hotter as the evening progressed). This may be my new favorite!
Both the Margherita and Cotto e Funghi are a little moist, but certainly not soupy. The crust holds the toppings well.
The last pie was a Crudo tomato, mozzarella, basil, arugula, shaved grana, prosciutto. Again there was an excellent melding of flavors with extremely fresh arugula and a terrific crust. I could only eat about ¼ of this pizza since I was stuffed, but I’m sure it will make a good snack later today.
The wine list is short but Italian, and reasonably priced. They have a couple of imported and micro-brews on tap and in bottles including Peroni if you want replicate the Da Michele experience. The menu includes a variety of other treats including panni, salads, antipasti, and house made cannoli. I ate too much pizza to try any of these.
All in all, I’d highly recommend Pizzeria Orso, nice setting, friendly staff, and excellent pizza. With Pupatella down the road in Ballston, Northern Virginia is becoming a great place for Neapolitan pizza! A few pics are below. Sorry the quality isn't that great, they're from my phone.