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Will Artley wasn’t sure what his next move would be after Evening Star, but he was told that his spirit animal would guide him to the right decision. At least, that’s what his spirit counselor told him. Not too long after that, the fine folks at Pizzeria Orso called him, hoping for a consultation with the thought that his expertise would help the business. Upon learning that the word orso is Italian for “bear,” his spirit animal, Artley knew he was at the right place.

Pizzeria Orso is the only pizzeria in the area to use a sourdough formula, making all its dough according to traditional neapolitan pizza protocol. But the menu goes well beyond pizza and its traditional sides.

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Perhaps the menu’s best feature is Artley’s creative use of every part of an ingredient. While the brussels chips utilize the sprouts’ skins and generous amounts of grana, the hearts are used in another dish along with bacon, celery and truffled maple. The pork belly is complimented by mushroom ragu and polenta while the bacon compliments the lamb slider. And everything is complimented nicely by an adult fruit slushie, which might be the only “light” item on the menu. From start to finish, everything is designed to put you in a lovely food coma– from those brussels sprouts, to the lemon-glazed donut for dessert.

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But we know that you came here for the pizza. It says a lot about Artley’s kitchen that his counter was occupied by local esteemed chefs who make it a tradition to stop by regularly. Unfortunately this sentence won’t make your decision a lot easier, but it’s the truth: you can’t go wrong with any of the pizzas that Orso offers, even if you tried. But we can highly recommend the Margherita (tomato, bufala mozzarella, basil) and the Fun Guy (wild mushroom, mozzarella, fontina, parmesan).

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For many, a drive out to Falls Church has to be worth it. There’s got to be a real reason for going, and dining is a definite part of that equation. When Pizzeria Orso is your Falls Church dining destination, you soon realize that this is the main event. The rumors are true: most of the best food in DC isn’t actually in DC.

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