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


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Edan Macquaid, long-time pizzaiolo at 2 Amys, is partnering with the owners of 2941 to open a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church. The name is to be determined, and the location is best kept off-the-record for now. This has been in the works for some time, and, at least on paper, has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008. Look for Macquaid back in action as a full partner, serving up wood-fired Neopolitan pizza - possibly with DOC status - antipasti, a full selection of beer and wine, possibly a liquor license, an exhibition kitchen, and seating at the bar. Not all details have been resolved, and I don't wish to overstep my bounds, so this is all I feel comfortable saying for now.

Congratulations to everyone involved, and we'll see you soon.

Cheers!
Rocks.

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What is considered "Downtown Falls Church", Do you mean old town (intersection of Rt 7 and 29) do you mean closer to 7 Corners? or do you mean close to Tyson's? Falls Church seems to spew in several directions.

Edan Macquaid, long-time pizzaiolo at 2 Amys, is partnering with the owners of 2941 to open a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church. The name is to be determined, and the location is best kept off-the-record for now. This has been in the works for some time, and, at least on paper, has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008. Look for Macquaid back in action as a full partner, serving up wood-fired Neopolitan pizza - possibly with DOC status - antipasti, a full selection of beer and wine, possibly a liquor license, an exhibition kitchen, and seating at the bar. Not all details have been resolved, and I don't wish to overstep my bounds, so this is all I feel comfortable saying for now.

Congratulations to everyone involved, and we'll see you soon.

Cheers!

Rocks.

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Edan Macquaid, long-time pizzaiolo at 2 Amys, is partnering with the owners of 2941 to open a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church. The name is to be determined, and the location is best kept off-the-record for now. This has been in the works for some time, and, at least on paper, has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008. Look for Macquaid back in action as a full partner, serving up wood-fired Neopolitan pizza - possibly with DOC status - antipasti, a full selection of beer and wine, possibly a liquor license, an exhibition kitchen, and seating at the bar. Not all details have been resolved, and I don't wish to overstep my bounds, so this is all I feel comfortable saying for now.

Congratulations to everyone involved, and we'll see you soon.

Cheers!

Rocks.

This confirms some scuttlebutt I heard recently. I work in downtown FC. This is what we in the news biz call "second-sourcing."

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I've heard there are other locations set to open as well. The Master of Puppets that lured him away owns other restaurants. Also, the Pizza boy from Two Ammys (SP?) isn't the head Pizzaiolo..................it is someone else. :mellow:

That is correct. What I know is that the owner of 2941 is going to open SEVERAL of these over the Washington Metropolitan area. One of the good things about it is that I understand Patrick Diess is overseeing the operation. Patrick was Jon Krinn's Executive Sous when he opened 2941.

THE PIZZA SHOULD BE AWESOME.

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That is correct. What I know is that the owner of 2941 is going to open SEVERAL of these over the Washington Metropolitan area. One of the good things about it is that I understand Patrick Diess is overseeing the operation. Patrick was Jon Krinn's Executive Sous when he opened 2941.

THE PIZZA SHOULD BE AWESOME.

Have you tasted the trial pizzas? :mellow: LOL

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Edan Macquaid, long-time pizzaiolo at 2 Amys, is partnering with the owners of 2941 to open a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church. The name is to be determined, and the location is best kept off-the-record for now. This has been in the works for some time, and, at least on paper, has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008. Look for Macquaid back in action as a full partner, serving up wood-fired Neopolitan pizza - possibly with DOC status - antipasti, a full selection of beer and wine, possibly a liquor license, an exhibition kitchen, and seating at the bar. Not all details have been resolved, and I don't wish to overstep my bounds, so this is all I feel comfortable saying for now.

Congratulations to everyone involved, and we'll see you soon.

Cheers!

Rocks.

Now that some of the details have been leaked, I'll step in and add that the correct name is Pizzeria Orso, not Pizzeria Orzo.

Cheers,

Rocks

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Finally great pizza in Virginia, and no too far from my house. Is this place going to be a romper room though?

As long as I can pick up a fabulous pizza and bring it to my house they can populate it with wall-to-wall pigs for all I care.

post-5770-126814813418_thumb.jpg

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Dumb question, but how does a soft opening work? It's invited guests only?

A soft opening allows the front of the house, waitstaff, and in this case, pizza maker to operate at near or close to full capacity

before the restaurant opens. Usually it's invited guests, however sometimes if there are 'openings' because people don't attend

restaurants will allow 'walk-ins', but that's pretty rare for a non chain place.

Not to be snarky, but I'd say it's bad form to mention the soft opening date on a public forum.

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Not to be snarky, but I'd say it's bad form to mention the soft opening date on a public forum.

Not to worry. This evening, Pizzeria Orso has a lobby-only entrance, with a very large, unambiguous sign announcing that they aren't open until next Tuesday, and that this weekend is for "Service Training." I breached the boundaries nevertheless, and when I poked my head in and asked, was (warmly, politely, properly) told that indeed, they are closed to the public tonight. But I did manage to snag a carryout menu! :lol:

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. Orso and Pupatella are not going to be competitors, from what I can tell; they are two extremely different operations serving two useful and distinct purposes.

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Not to worry. This evening, Pizzeria Orso has a lobby-only entrance, with a very large, unambiguous sign announcing that they aren't open until next Tuesday, and that this weekend is for "Service Training." I breached the boundaries nevertheless, and when I poked my head in and asked, was (warmly, politely, properly) told that indeed, they are closed to the public tonight. But I did manage to snag a carryout menu! :lol:

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. Orso and Pupatella are not going to be competitors, from what I can tell; they are two extremely different operations serving two useful and distinct purposes.

There is always room for a another great Neapolitan pizzeria :-). We don't think that we are very different in the product we offer, the menu is similar (although Orso has a bigger menu) we both got the exact same (the best in the world!) wood-fired pizza oven shipped from Naples. I am positive we'll be getting mostly the same ingredients for pizzas, from the same purveyors. Orso, though, from what we can tell - is a nicer, bigger, expensive sit-down place, whereas we are very casual and inexpensive. In Orso, you'll pay the higher price for the service, whereas at Pupatella the service is pretty much non-existent, it's all just about the food.

I bet you one thing tough - both us and Orso will be filled with families with small kids :-)

We (Pupatella) actually think that it is good to have more Neapolitan pizzerias in the area. Yes, we all get competitive, but we also all help each other by increasing customer's knowledge and appreciation for true Pizza Napoletana. We all do our part to educate customers, and our success depends very much on how well we explain what we are actually trying to do and why Neapolitan pizza really is divine. People always see the world through their past experiences, and people that have never tried pizza in Naples tend to expect something similar to their past pizza experience in the US or even Italy. But Neapolitan pizza is not only different from American pizza, it is also different from pizza you get in other parts of Italy. One can drive three hours outside of Naples to Rome and find a completely different pizza there, made very differently.

2Amys' had it the hardest staring out - back then very few people in the area understood what Neapolitan pizza is all about, but now the public education has increased dramatically and people come to new Neapolitan pizzerias knowing what to expect. DC is becoming a great pizza town!

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First impressions based on my carryout order last night:

The Good: Love the space. They did a good job of making it look clean and sharp without any hint of prententiousness. The cute blonde bartender from 2Amy's was running the show behind the bar last night, which was a good get for Edan. The Giamette (tomato, provola, pepperoni, sausage, salami, ham) was a triumph, although the crust while charred did not have any crispiness to it. For you thin crust + soft dough lovers, this is going to be a go-to for you if the crust remains how it was last night.

The Not As Good: The size of the pizza/the price. I'm sure I'll get lambasted for this (and maybe rightfully so), but the pizzas are considerably smaller than 2Amy's and Radius and are at the same price point or even more. Now the size would not be a problem, to be honest, as one pizza was enough food for me, but I'm just observing based on similar products in the area. $33 after tax for 2 12" pizzas (the other was the Cotto e Funghi, which was nicely prepared but not something I would order again).

Also, the service was going through typical opening day/week issues last night, but I'm sure those will disappear within a couple weeks.

Congrats to everyone involved in this project, Falls Church is lucky to have you!

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The Not As Good: The size of the pizza/the price. I'm sure I'll get lambasted for this (and maybe rightfully so), but the pizzas are considerably smaller than 2Amy's and Radius and are at the same price point or even more. Now the size would not be a problem, to be honest, as one pizza was enough food for me, but I'm just observing based on similar products in the area. $33 after tax for 2 12" pizzas (the other was the Cotto e Funghi, which was nicely prepared but not something I would order again).

Perhaps it's an attempt to drive away those families who think pizza restaurants are automatically romper rooms for their kids. I'm all for higher prices for a sane dining room and as much as I love 2 Amys and Red Rock, I will not drive into town for pizza if there's something just as good that's slightly more expensive but close to home.

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One of the best pizzas in the DC area. The room was nicely designed and can see it being packed in the future.

Waitstaff was getting into the groove which will happen once the word gets out about the quality of place.

The size/cost ratio...I think that it's maybe a $1 or $2 difference compared to other similar places for the size.

Regardless, the most important thing was the pie itself. Great char and crust. Subtle flavors. I was impressed.

Congratulations!

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The cute blonde is my wife, and Orso's Gm, and yes, I am lucky to have that one. :)

The Pizze are served on the exact same plate as two amys and generally hang off the plate, and the quality of the ingredients is superior, trust me I know. Last night was no fun..

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May I have your attention, please, for an important announcement:

I had three pizzas tonight at Pizzeria Orso, and the third-best pizza of the evening was the third-best pizza I've had in the past two and a half years.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Would you care to enlighten us on three menu recommendations, good sir Rocks? Also, what was the eclipsing pizza 30 months ago?

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Would you care to enlighten us on three menu recommendations, good sir Rocks? Also, what was the eclipsing pizza 30 months ago?

Margherita DOC ($13), Crudo ($15), and Giamette ($16). I can't say I had a favorite; only that the three in combination represented a wonderful variety.

Also, I had a preference for the amazing Potato Crocche ($5 for 5) over a slightly salt-deprived Arancini ($3 for 1). They didn't have either the Suppli al Telefono ($5) or, tragically, the Cannoli ($5) with house made shell.

The 2009 Grotta del Sole Gragnano ($23) is the exact same one they're serving at Pupatella, if I remember correctly from the vividly colored label.

The pizza I had 30 months ago was this one at Comet Ping Pong, my fourth (!) pizzeria of that evening. I can't say it "eclipsed" these; merely that I remember it as being unbelievably good despite me being absolutely stuffed before even walking into the restaurant. The pizzas tonight were very different in style, and reminded me of why I used to drive 45 minutes round trip to get 2 Amys carry out, many years ago.

Cheers,

Rocks

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Went to lunch today and I have to say I was impressed and look forward to many more visits. I started with the Eggplant Parm and followed with Margherita DOC. The eggplant was good, not great, but has potential. I will need to try it again. Either the eggplant or the something in the sauce was bitter. There were pieces of smaller eggplant immersed in sauce and cheese with fresh garlic and basil. The pizza was near perfect. The crust was perfect, had nice balanced char and it held up through the entire meal. Excellent balance between sauce and cheese. I did ask for mew sea salt as i thought it was lacking.

Overall service was good, and the food was excellent. I look forward to many visits.

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We made it to Orso tonight and between 5 of us had the following: Bruschetta, Warm Herbed Olives, Potato Crocche, and Mixed Grill as appetizers. For pizza we had Tri Colore, Diavolo, Crudo, Cotto e Funghi, and the Filleto with extra blue cheese. The crusts were very nicely charred; no sogginess in the middle. The best surprise was the generosity of the toppings! I feel 2 Amy's always skimped on this part. I hope Orso continues this pattern. Oh, the quality of the toppings was superior also! I never thought I would feel about pepperoni the way I felt tonight...

The service was efficient but a bit young and inexperienced... I am sure with some coaching it will improve.

I am so excited that this is 15 minutes from my house! I hated trekking into DC solely for pizza! I know we will be back again and again.

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