Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pizzeria Orso - Will Artley getting artzy!

Pizzeria Orso
400 South Maple Avenue
Falls Church, VA 22046
Tel: (703) 226-3460

Will Artley is a man with a plan.  Right now that plan is turning the restaurant opened for someone else into his place.  He's got skills honed with The Neighborhood Restaurant Group at Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria, where he was the head chef for several years. 
There's something about veggies getting ready for prep that excites me.  Not sure why, but it does.
Tyson and Will

This is Will working on the morning prep.  Mike Palmer and I showed up just before lunch to do some shooting and eating.

They do a lot of roasting of things other than pizza in the awesome oven.  This puppy can get to over 1000 degrees.  It's made from special imported clay.  The pizza is Neapolitan style.  Will trained with VPN people to learn the tricks of the trade.  He doesn't use the Neapolitan starter for his dough as he feels it doesn't do well in the Mid-Atlantic area.  His is a sourdough-based pizza.
Chef Jayson Lewellyn and me after I'd just had a bite of the Orso pizza.  It was great to have Jayson with us as well on this shoot.  I never get tired of chefs telling me what they think about the same things I'm trying. 

Mike was having a good time shooting.  This place has a lot of good light and is very casual.

This is Will and his sous, Tyson.

This was a straight mozz & basil pizza.  Clean and herby tasting.  The tomato flavor was explosive and hit me right in the palate.  Very neat.
Tyson Tossin'

Mike and Will checking the progress.

This is the Mufaletta Sandwich.  Nice fresh greens tasted like they were just yanked from the garden. The pepper spread had just enough heat to make it interesting.

Will and Tyson conferring about the finer points of little pepperoni and showing a little taco meat (the triangle of chest-hair that shows when you don't have a t-shirt on under your chef shirt.)  I've stolen this colloquialism and will now use it as my own.  Thanks Will!
The result was a tasty creation.

Mike caught me goofing around..

Lunch is served!  We got to try a few different pies and the Mufaletta. 

Mike "Two-shot" Palmer

The other pies were good, but this was the Ferrari of white pizzas.  I haven't had one even close to this good since Janis Maclean left RedDog in Silver Spring.  I usually get my white pizza with prosciutto, but this one came that way straight off the menu, so I didn't have to insult Will by asking for it.  This pie has mozzarella, pecorino, grana, ricotta, garlic, and prosciutto. Definite food wood. The flavors were in perfect balance. 
Another shot of me and Jayson.  Keep your ears open about this duo.  We've got big things coming.
Will looking tough.  Don't mess with my mozz!
All-in-all, a great lunchtime shoot with a very personable chef.  I wish him all the success he can handle.  He's one of the genuinely nice guys in the biz.
If you go, I believe they've just rolled out a new menu, so there should be a whole bunch of Will's creations to sample.  Let them know you heard about it on Pleasures of the Table.
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