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Pizzeria Orso, S. Maple Ave. in Falls Church - Chef Carlos Diaz Steps In For Will Artley, With GM Sara Barrera

Falls Church American Italian Pizza Small Plates Cello Restaurant Group

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#351 RaisaB

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:19 PM

This is horrible. I have been to this restaurant regularly this year and Will is the reason why. It was actually my favorite. My night is ruined. Ugh.

 

---

 

[I most certainly don't "Like" that your night is ruined, but you captured very succinctly what a lot of people think about this.]

 

(Will, when you can, please come let us know what's going on. As always, anything you (or anybody else) tells me is private, remains private.)


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#352 hopsing

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 09:10 AM

We were there Saturday night, our first post-Will visit.  The fried calamari was much better than before.  The porkbelly was definitely not as good--sort of too soupy.  The new poached pear salad my husband said was ho-hum.  We split on the spaghetti and meatballs - I preferred the old way (Artley era) and he preferred the new way (post-Artley).


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#353 DannyNoonan

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 10:12 AM

I have been to Orso twice now in the post-Will era and have been encouraged by what we found both times. We ordered our standard fare and found no striking changes, except for a marked improvement in the calamari as noted above. Fingers crossed that the smooth sailing continues. 


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#354 ScotteeM

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 06:23 PM

My husband and I had lunch here one day last week. I had two old favorites: the pork belly and the roasted cauliflower. Both were every bit as good as I remember when Will was in the kitchen. My husband strayed from his usual pizza order to get the meatball grinder, which is served in a sort of folded pizza crust. He loved it!

 

I'm sorry Will is gone, and I look forward to trying wherever he lands in the future. But things aren't looking so bad at Pizzeria Orso for now.


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#355 DonRocks

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 07:00 PM

I have been to Orso twice now in the post-Will era and have been encouraged by what we found both times. We ordered our standard fare and found no striking changes, except for a marked improvement in the calamari as noted above. Fingers crossed that the smooth sailing continues. 

 

My husband and I had lunch here one day last week. I had two old favorites: the pork belly and the roasted cauliflower. Both were every bit as good as I remember when Will was in the kitchen. My husband strayed from his usual pizza order to get the meatball grinder, which is served in a sort of folded pizza crust. He loved it!

 

I'm sorry Will is gone, and I look forward to trying wherever he lands in the future. But things aren't looking so bad at Pizzeria Orso for now.

 

Matt and I got three pizzas the other evening (always must have some for his breakfast the next day!), and I thought they were of comparable quality as the Artley-era pies; Matt liked them a lot, but felt they were not quite as good (Matt's palate for things such as this is at least equal to mine, but he's also more susceptible to bias). So there's two more data points.

 

Will took great pride in training his staff, and even told me after he left that he thought they'd do just fine. Still, unless there's a strong captain at the helm (and there may well be), degradation will begin to occur at some point.


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#356 agm

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 09:04 AM

We haven't been to Orso recently, but knowing how much pride Will took in his staff, I would expect the quality of execution of the regular menu to remain high. What will probably be missing is the creativity - the specials, the new menu items, the unexpected flavors that blow you away. The best pizza I have ever had was a pistachio-based work of art he put together one day, which never made it to the menu. That kind of thing requires a chef with talent, confidence and the freedom to create.


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#357 DonRocks

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 10:29 AM

I have been to Orso twice now in the post-Will era and have been encouraged by what we found both times. We ordered our standard fare and found no striking changes, except for a marked improvement in the calamari as noted above. Fingers crossed that the smooth sailing continues. 

My husband and I had lunch here one day last week. I had two old favorites: the pork belly and the roasted cauliflower. Both were every bit as good as I remember when Will was in the kitchen. My husband strayed from his usual pizza order to get the meatball grinder, which is served in a sort of folded pizza crust. He loved it!

Matt and I got three pizzas the other evening (always must have some for his breakfast the next day!), and I thought they were of comparable quality as the Artley-era pies; Matt liked them a lot, but felt they were not quite as good (Matt's palate for things such as this is at least equal to mine, but he's also more susceptible to bias). So there's two more data points.

We haven't been to Orso recently, but knowing how much pride Will took in his staff, I would expect the quality of execution of the regular menu to remain high. What will probably be missing is the creativity - the specials, the new menu items, the unexpected flavors that blow you away. 

 

Unfortunately, I had my first solid evidence of a post-Artley decline last night. I'd ordered pizza 2-3 times from Pizzeria Orso since Will left, and thought the quality was just about the same; last night, I ordered two pizzas: a Fun Guy ($15) and a Capricciosa ($15), both of which I'd had multiple times in the past (at least five times each), and both of which had always been consistent in their quality.

 

The Fun Guy was still very close in character to a pre-Artley version (the sourdough starter was left at the restaurant, so the crust will remain comparable for awhile; it's the toppings that will be the first to change). However, the Capricciosa was the first-ever version that was in decline, and other than a couple of objective reasons, I can't tell you why. It was extremely salty, low on artichokes (which counteract the salt), and the slices of ham were stuck together which revealed that they were not of the highest quality. It may indeed be the same ham they were using before, but when you get 3-4 slices stuck together because of improper slicing, it enhances whatever flaws there are, and puts the entire pie out of balance - this pizza would not have seen the light of day had Will been running the kitchen.

 

Next to Pupatella, this is still the second-best pizza around (I had Pie-Tanza within the past week, and it's just as it always is (which isn't as good as this))

 

I hope this a one-off, but I fear little "things" like this might begin cropping up here-and-there which could be a precursor to a larger downfall. I should also add that I've had a disproportionate number of Orso pizzas, so I'll be one of the first to know - most customers probably wouldn't have even noticed this, or, for that matter, cared.


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#358 DonRocks

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:42 PM

Betrand Chemel is now officially the Executive Chef at the restaurant group which runs 2941 and Pizzeria Orso, and has had significant input in the menu redesign.

 

The Chef de Cuisine (nominally the Executive Sous Chef) will be Carlos Diaz, and the General Manager is Sara Barrera.

 

Here is the latest menu from Pizzeria Orso:

 

Attached File  Orso New Menu FINAL 2015.pdf   217KB   185 downloads

 

 


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#359 Genevieve

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 04:02 PM

That menu looks really dull compared to what Orso used to have.  Will probably not return there.



#360 Eric Reid

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 04:08 PM

Carlos and I started at the same time at Evening Star Cafe under Chef Brian Hooyenga.

I'm very excited for Carlos! Congratulations homie!


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#361 hopsing

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 07:04 PM

Looks like they got rid of my beloved pork belly and polenta app, but they added some interesting stuff I'm willing to try.  Their wine list looks like it shrunk and is rapidly getting out of my price range!



#362 Pizzaandbrew

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 02:46 PM

Carlos and I started at the same time at Evening Star Cafe under Chef Brian Hooyenga.

I'm very excited for Carlos! Congratulations homie!

 

Ditto!  So happy to see Carlos stepping into the spotlight.  Well deserved...


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#363 RaisaB

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 02:52 PM

That menu is scaled down, which may be a good thing. Then again he always had a dozen specials. I haven't been back since Will left...but will give it a try as soon as I get back into the country.



#364 The Delicious

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:51 AM

As usual, took the boy for a pizza, and the kids pie continues to be a great value, $7 for a delicious 12 inch (about) pie. For the one piece the boy allowed me to have (read: I took it without him noticing), I thought the crust was very salty, but i quite liked it. I got an order of Arancini, which included 8 (iirc) quarter-sized balls, and were good, if not great. A bit bland to my tastes, and nothing like the fancier version they used to make. I also got a small Italian Chopped Salad, which was very good, and quite large. Indeed, the large portion must come on a different plate, because the small I got was piled high and there wasn't any more room. Anyway, it was a good mixture of lettuce, onion, tomato, olives, peppers and meat. I miss the old menu, and preferred my past order choices, but still a very good meal at a very good price.



#365 weezy

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 10:38 AM

Termite?  That's a change from the old menu......


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#366 The Delicious

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 10:45 AM

autocorrect for tomato...now revised. Either way, the salad was damn good


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#367 DonRocks

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 10:46 AM

autocorrect for tomato...now revised. Either way, the salad was damn good

 

:) [I'll delete these, but this is funny.]


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