The Washington Post

Out at Orso: Pizza maestro Edan MacQuaid

One of the area’s most popular pizza purveyors replaced one of the region’s best-known pie makers earlier today. When Pizzeria Orso opens for dinner this evening, Edan MacQuaid won’t be stoking the fires of its wood-burning oven. In his place will be Chris Nye, a 30-year-old sous chef from Orso’s glamorous sibling, 2941 Restaurant .

Per terms of his agreement with the owners of Orso, MacQuaid was unable to discuss his separation from the Falls Church destination. (His wife, Thea MacQuaid, Orso’s manager, was also dismissed today.)

Mary Alexander, the president of 2941, said “management differences” were at the root of the change. While she called MacQuaid “a phenomenol pizza maker,” she said “We have a stable of talented pizza makers” at Orso. “We’re committed to the pizza and the concept.”

Any changes at the pizzeria -- revered for its thin, slightly sour and beautifully charred Neapolitan pies -- will be the result of listening to customers, including families with young children, Alexander says. Can a kid’s menu be far behind?

This won’t be Nye’s first experience tossing dough and browning crusts. Back in his native Minnesota, he cooked at Al Vento, a southern Italian restaurant in Minneapolis.

Fun fact: Orso is closed for lunch on Mondays in order for a chimney sweep to come in.

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