Pizzeria Orso, Falls Church, VA

(See the February 15th., 2011 Review here.)

If you read my previous review about Orso, you’ll see that I was disgruntled about the Giamette. But I also know full well that pizzaiolo Edan Macquaid is one of the most talented pizza makers in the United States, and also that lightning generally doesn’t strike twice.

Does it count as a “restaurant night out” when a benefactor brings you over some Pizzeria Orso pizza? I think yes, and I specifically requested another Giamette ($16) with tomato, provola, pepperoni, sausage, salami, and ham. I had earlier told Edan that I wanted to see if he could make this meat-laden pie with finesse, and guess what?

He did.

This was a beautiful pie (I’m not sure if it’s accepted in pizzaiolo lingo to say “pie,” but you know, there are only so many words for “pizza,” and i’m trying not to bore you guys to death by saying the same words over and over again, so pie it is until I’m corrected.)

Why was it beautiful? Because it was. There was perhaps only 60% as much meat as the last time I had it, thus allowing the wonderful crust to shine through and not be overwhelmed. The whole pizza was finished with joy, and Macquaid’s artisanship was evident with his rendition of this Giamette.

Even more so with the one piece of Crudo ($15) that I was lucky enough to try. This pizza is listed in the “Traditional Pizzas” section of the menu, and was one of the best pizzas that I’ve had from here. Made with tomato, mozzarella, basil, arugula, shaved grana, and prosciutto di Parma, it was a remarkable slice of pizza, even at room temperature. My benefactor raved that his four-top felt it was the “pizza of the night,” and went out of his way to save me a piece. This fourteen-year-old young man had the palate to be able to say, correctly, that it was “the arugula that made the pizza,” complementing the prosciutto with a bouquet straight from the Gods. An astonishing combination that I believe probably showed even better at room temperature than when it was straight from the oven.

Even though it was carryout, and even though the Giamette is not my favorite pizza here, this was a fabulous night for Pizzeria Orso. Keep fighting, Edan – you have my support.

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