Tyler Cowen’s choice for the best pizza in the area, Pizzeria Orso has been on our radar for a long time. The place is run by a pizzaiolo who worked at Two Amys, which is apparently the high falutin pizza place for folks in the District – and walking in for lunch you could notice a high falutin sort of pizza vibe. There was the wood oven, a blackboard with the specials listed, including a roasted beet salad with goat cheese – so that’s the vibe we’re dealing with. Needless to say, given my love for this sort of The decor is fairly – well I don’t know how to put it – standard. I mean, no checkered tablecloth or anything but in a modern way entirely appropriate.
The menu is good and varied with a variety of individual pizzas and small plates – there were also specials including the aforementioned beet salad and a braised pork belly small plate. I got two small plates, arroncini and their sweet corn agnolotti served on a crab-corn ragout. The arroncini, risotto fritters basically, contained mushroom, taleggio cheese served on a vidalia onion puree. It was tasty, although did not compare to the arroncini at Pupatella. The agnolotti was tasty enough, but I was taken aback by only getting two of them – small plate indeed. Together the two cost $17 which was a little defeating.
LG got a pizza, which had basil, onion, mushroom, tomato, mozzarella. The pizza was a good neapolitan pizza. Toppings were ok and cheese was solid also – but the sauce lacked in the simple flavor that we have experienced elsewhere (Pupatella, cough cough). The other pizza on the table had speck, mozzerella, ricotta – the ricotta was a textural misfire, enough to mute the value of cured pig which is alarming to consider. Both pizzas cost $13 to $15 apiece.
I normally don’t harp on price – but Pupatella in Arlington offers entree salads for $7 and a clearly superior pizza for less. It’s not that Pizzeria Orso is bad – I liked it, and I could see how someone else would rave. But it is demonstrably inferior to options that are not that far away. Driving to Pupatella is a much better use of your pizza chasing time.