Full review Getting all the buzz they can bear By Tom Sietsema, June 2010 Did its designers conspire to make customers feel hungry just from looking around the new Pizzeria Orso? It sure seems that way. Every hue in the airy dining room suggests a pie-friendly ingredient, including the squash-yellow paint on the walls, the artichoke-green fabric on the booths and the dried-tomato-colored panels floating above the heads of patrons (those are sound absorbers). Chowhounds have been buzzing about the place ever since it served its first pizza this month. One reason for that is the chef behind the red, white and gray tile counter, Edan MacQuaid, whose Neapolitan pies have helped pack 2 Amys, Pizzeria Paradiso and RedRocks in Washington. Another is MacQuaid's source of support: the owners of the glam French restaurant 2941, a couple miles away in Fairfax County. "How is everything?" a waiter at Orso asks, then fishes for a compliment. "Delicious?" That description applies to a bowl of garlicky steamed clams and a plate of crisp, golden arancini, although the rice balls could use more than a speck of their pea and mushroom filling. We follow the snacks with a "crudo" pizza decorated with mozzarella, prosciutto, curls of grana and biting arugula. Raised on the edges, the soft crust sports a welcome char but none of the soupiness that some online naysayers have griped about. "We've been busier than we expected to be," MacQuaid says. Since its launch, Orso has been baking an average of 200 pizzas a day, and the pizzaiolo says he has been toiling "140 hours" a week training cooks. MacQuaid says the pies are intended to be "wet without being soupy." (There are stuffed pizzas, too, but the abundance of bread detracts from their centers.) Originating from a sourdough starter rather than fresh yeast, Orso's pizzas are served uncut, which not only makes for a more attractive presentation, MacQuaid says, but allows the dough to continue to cook after it leaves the domed, wood-fired oven. (Some pies spend a mere 30 seconds in the 900-or-so-degree heat.) Orso is Italian for "bear," and a picture of one graces the menu. Huh? "It was a bear to name it," says MacQuaid.