Category Wood Oven Pizza

Spirit Tree: Exquisite Wood Fired Pizza

Sneaking in a little instapost about a lovely evening I had last night with a friend at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, in Caledon. I didn’t plan on doing a post and only took two instagram photos but the food was so good, I have to share.

Friday and Saturday nights (between 4pm and 8pm) are pizza nights at Spirit Tree. Laura and I made plans late last fall to go to Spirit Tree on the first warm Friday evening in spring for their hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza. A drive out in the country and exquisite pizza shared with a friend was the perfect way to celebrate warm spring weather.

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Heaven on Earth: Muskoka’s Pizza on Earth

All winter long, we pine for a little bit of summer in Muskoka. Of course, the natural beauty of Muskoka is enough of a draw on its own. But Muskoka’s Dorset, Ontario boasts an extra special piece of heaven, or pizza heaven – officially called Pizza on Earth.


About five years ago, an enterprising university student, Sarah Jane (Johnson) Gibbs, and her parents built an outdoor wood-burning oven on their commercial property. Since then, Sara has turned out fabulous, wood-fired gourmet pizza that knocks the flip flops off local cottagers. Thin, crisp but chewy crust cooked to perfection. Flavourful sauce. Gourmet toppings. And that smoky, wood-fired taste. This is the stuff to hold out for – here is why:

Pizza on Earth is only open in the summer, which makes Sarah’s pizza all that much more appreciated. The rest of the year, Sarah is at university studying the cello. Gosh, she’s inspiring. You go girl. I bet you play the cello as beautifully as you make pizza.

Pizza on Earth is very popular in this neck of the woods. Call ahead to place your order; if you show up at the last minute, chances are you will wait a long while. Take it away or eat there on the outdoor picnic tables. Better yet, take a short trip across the Dorset bridge to the park at Little Trading Bay. Our boys like to Huck Finn it and swim out to the raft in the bay. The beauty of Muskoka, Dad’s Root Beer, and Pizza on Earth. Heaven on earth.

Pizza on Earth
1009 Clan McKay Drive
Dorset, Ontario
P0A 1E0
(just south of Dorset, Ontario on the east side of Highway 35, just south of the Dorset bridge)

Phone: 705-349-8827


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Spirit Tree Estate Cidery: Savour the Quality

Even if you are not a fan of cider, don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy a scenic drive to Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, an artisan cider mill gracing the Niagara Escarpment, in the picturesque hills of Caledon. While farm-fresh apples and carefully crafted cider are at the root of the Spirit Tree experience, there is much more to this story.

Of course, there are delicious sweet and hard ciders to sample in Spirit Tree’s tasting room or purchase in their farm store, as well as apples already-picked from the estate’s orchards.


I look forward to a glass of sweet apple cider in the fall, but I am a novice when it comes to hard ciders. To learn more about Spirit Tree Estate Cidery’s award-winning, artisanal ciders, click the Our Ciders tab and the Press tab on their website link at the end of this post.

What I find exceptional about Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is the attention to detail and high-quality standards that owners and founders Thomas Wilson and Nicole Judge have poured into their business, starting with their cider but apparent throughout their operations.


Nestled in the heart of their award-winning straw bale building is a specially designed wood-fired oven with thick stone masonry that retains heat for hours, even after the fire burns down and is cleaned out of the oven. From that oven, come some wonderful things.


Artisanal bread is handcrafted using old European techniques and preservative-free, natural ingredients, then baked fresh daily, directly on the clean oven hearth. There are several beautiful varieties of bread to choose from, including Caledon Sourdough, Red Fife Whole Wheat, Boston Mills Multigrain, and Epi (gorgeous French-inspired baguettes styled after wheat stalks).


I brought home a Tartine loaf – a Spirit Tree favourite, with a chewy crust and delicious interior.



Spirit Tree’s Maple Walnut Granola is roasted in the wood-fired oven. It has a crisp texture with a pleasing maple flavour that is not too rich or too sweet. It’s made from rolled oats, brown sugar, maple, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, almonds, pecans, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Healthy never tasted so good!

Whole pies and quiches (filled with a variety of delicious ingredients) are baked fresh on the premises and available ready-to-eat or frozen. I picked up a frozen Quiche Lorraine filled with bacon, potato, thyme and swiss cheese. I have it stored in my freezer, ready for an easy brunch. For Thanksgiving, consider pumpkin pie or gluten-free Applicious pumpkin pie, but be sure to call in advance to pre-order. Cheese buns, cinnamon buns, tarts, cookies, and scones (which are delicious, according to my sister) are offered daily.

Spirit Tree Estate Cidery even makes a couple of enticing gourmet pâtés. I picked up Pâté with Ice Cider & Shallots – the ingredients sound delectable: chicken livers, clarified butter, shallots, port, brandy, ice cider, Calvados, apple syrup, eggs, spices. It’s frozen in adorable little 165g ceramic pots – I am storing it in my freezer for Christmas entertaining.

The owners’ insistence on quality, natural ingredients is evident again in the gourmet food they bring in from local artisans. Spirit Tree’s farm store is filled with fine quality, artisanal gourmet food – a gourmet gal’s dream.

merediths_ginger_syrup Meredith’s Ginger Syrup is a fusion of fresh ginger root extracts and natural honey raised on Meredith’s organic farm in Meaford, Ontario. My favourite way to add this healthy elixir to my diet it is to add the juice of half a lemon and a dash of cayenne powder to 1 cup of hot or cold water, then stir in two tablespoons of Meredith’s Ginger Syrup for a rejuvenating morning habit that my friend Angela has got me started on. Of course, you can omit the cayenne and the lemon and enjoy a lovely, soothing drink of spicy ginger that will warm you from the inside out.

Handcrafted in small batches at the Deerhurst resort in Muskoka by chef Shelley Westgarth, Belly Ice Cream is served in some of the finest restaurants (such as the Ritz Carlton’s TOCA) and sold in several of the finest gourmet food stores throughout Ontario (including Spirit Tree Estate Cidery). Shelley uses locally-sourced, all natural, preservative-free ingredients and dreams up a variety of creative, gourmet flavours like these.


I bought Dulce de Leche with Spiced Chocolate ice cream – did they know I was coming? This flavour was made for me: dulce de leche caramel ice cream, toffee bits and thin wafers of Belgian dark chocolate that melt on your tongue and leave you with a little kick of heat. A variety of amazing flavours, sold in 500 mL containers or individual serving sizes, are available at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery.

You will also find Sheldon Creek Dairy products (such as traditional unhomogenized milk with cream on the top), Wicked Shortbread, Roothman’s Gourmet Preserves, and a bounty of other gourmet goodies.


My sister and I enjoyed a light lunch in the tasting room. The high ceilings, rustic decor, and touches of elegant black or white calligraphy scrolled on the walls and blackboards made us feel like we were eating in a charming French mas (farmhouse). You can also eat on the outdoor porch or the picnic tables scattered on the lawn, if the weather permits. Brunch and lunch are served from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Daily sandwiches and a farmhouse charcuterie platter are also on the menu.


The atmosphere is casual but the quality of the food is superb. The daily quiche was filled with wood-oven-dried tomatoes, sautéed spinach, thyme and chèvre, all suspended in a lovely egg custard. It came with a healthy side salad of barley, red quinoa, baby arugula, and diced vegetables.


Our gracious and knowledgeable server, Alyssa, informed us that the daily soup (mushroom) was made with homemade vegetable stock, fresh rosemary from the garden, and a just a hint of cream. It was chock-full of mushrooms and had a full mushroom flavour – the best mushroom soup I have had in a long time.  Soup is served with slices of Spirit Tree’s delicious Country French bread.


I couldn’t resist and ordered both a well-prepared café latté and a freshly-pressed sweet cider that tasted like apple in a glass – so much fresher tasting than mass-produced, grocery store apple juice that has been processed, filtered, treated, sweetened, and watered down.


Friday night is pizza night. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to try Spirit Tree’s hand-tossed, wood-fired oven pizza yet, I am told that it is a real treat. Pizza toppings range from traditional to creative, quality ingredients. To an adventurous eater like me, the Cider House Blues pizza sounds heavenly: caramelized onions, wood-oven roasted potatoes, sliced apples, mozzarella, blue cheese, rosemary, and walnuts drizzled with honey. Oh my! Pizzas are served from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and are baked to order, so call ahead. You can either take your pizza to go or enjoy it on Spirit Tree’s picnic tables, when weather permits.

Visit Spirit Tree Estate Cidery on Saturdays or Sundays at 2:00 p.m. for a drop-in, guided tour ($5 includes free-tasting) or check the website for details on pre-booked group tours. Sparkling sweet apple cider will be available in October, when Mother Nature dictates.

Fall is the perfect time of year to take a scenic drive through Caledon to Spirit Tree Estate Cidery. When I went with my sister last week, the leaves were just beginning to be tinged with colour. I’ll be back at Thanksgiving for more cider and again closer to Christmas to stock up on gourmet goodies for easy entertaining. I’d love to make it to the wassailing ceremony on Family Day in February, to sing to the apple trees. Stay tuned to my blog for more information, closer to the date. Whenever you go, bring a cooler to safely transport any frozen goodies home.

Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
1137 Boston Mills Road
Caledon, Ontario, Canada
L7C 0N1
Telephone: 905-838-2530
Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Belly Ice Cream Company:

Meredith’s Ginger Syrup:

Roothmans Gourmet Preserves:

Sheldon Creek Dairy:

Wicked Shortbread:


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Eat, Pray, Love Brick House Pizza

Hallelujah! Brick House Pizza Company has finally opened in Streetsville. We’ve been waiting eagerly since they posted the sign “Saucy presents Brick House Pizza. Get ready Streetsville.” Saucy’s flavour-packed food had us at hello, since the moment the restaurant opened in November 2000. They are delivering big flavours again with artisanal, wood-fired, take-out pizza from Brick House Pizza Company. You can smell the wood burning in the brick oven from the parking lot. They don’t offer delivery yet, but olive that it is so easy to park right in front and pick up yourself.


The wood-fired crust on the Mama Roni that my son ordered was brushed with an herb-flecked tomato sauce made from puréed San Marzanno tomatoes (grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvio in Napoli, Italy – the birthplace of pizza), then covered with plenty of Mozzarella cheese and scattered with lots of crispy, spicy, dry cured pepperoni. It was pepperoni pizza done the way it should be.


I have been pining for a good pizza Margherita ever since I enviously watched Julia Roberts fall head over heals into a steamy affair with the Margherita pizza she ate in Napoli, Italy, in the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Brick House Pizza’s version satisfied my urge with a thin and chewy crust spread with olive oil and chunks of stewed San Marzanno tomatoes.  It was perfumed with strips of fresh basil, topped with gooey Mozzarella cheese and dotted with melted globs of Bocconcini cheese (fresh mozzarella balls).


Olived my husband’s own creation the best. Our teeth crunched salty prosciutto then sunk down through oozing mozzarella into sweet tomato sauce and chewy crust. The highlight was the tang of the creamy blue cheese as it hit our tongues (just the right amount of dabs here and there without overpowering you). My husband asked “How can I ever go back to chain store pizza when I can have this?” And thus begins our love affair with Brick House Pizza.


Not only is the pizza delicious but olive that they offer good, freshly made salad. The Caesar salad was full of crisp romaine leaves dressed in creamy vinaigrette with a kick of garlic and sprinkled with airy croutons, bits of shaved parmesan and chunks of real bacon that is cooked in the wood burning oven. One Caesar salad could feed 2-3 people if you are eating it with pizza.

I don’t know how I will find the strength to pull myself away from the pizza to try the rest of the menu but the sandwiches sound mouthwatering. Check out the link to their site below to see all of the alluring items offered on the menu.

Brick House Pizza Company (located right next door to Saucy)
111 Queen Street South
Streetsville, Ontario
905-858-FIRE (3473)

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Latest News on Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza Streetsville: Updated October 23, 2013

Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza is opening tonight! Read my latest post here: Hot Off The Olive Press SPECIAL EDITION Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza is Opening October 23, 2013

Latest News on Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza Streetsville: Updated October 20, 2013

Stay glued to my blog Streetsville…there will be a big announcement coming this week.

Latest News on Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza Streetsville: Updated August 2, 2013

Don’t worry Streetsville. Though the front sign has been taken down from Goodfellas, word is that it is being replaced with a better sign. And while the Streetsville Main Street Square is being redesigned, the planter boxes from Goodfellas’ patio have been moved to safer locations. Meanwhile, I frequently see workers inside Goodfellas. Can’t wait for the opening of Goodfellas and the redesigned Streetsville Main Street Square.

Latest News on Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza Streetsville: Updated June 20, 2013

“Good things come to those who wait”. And when Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza opens up its first flagship restaurant in Streetsville, it’s going to be fabulous. I recently had a conversation with one of the owners of Goodfellas, Rocco Giovannelli, who confirmed the partners’ commitment to doing things right, from the start, so that when they do open everything will be in place to bring you an enjoyable restaurant experience.

The partners have already sponsored two chefs from Italy. But the experience will go beyond the food. Goodfellas is working on setting up an impressive entertainment line-up that Rocco promised will be wonderful.

All of this will take place in a beautifully renovated space. The process has involved a lot of determined hard work, including removing 14 truckloads of dirt from the basement to build a wine cellar, that will include a harvest table and reclaimed chandelier – the perfect room for a private dinner party. It has included opening up the windows along two sides of the building, so light can pour in and the restaurant can spill out onto the sidewalk. If you have driven by recently, you may have noticed the lovely patio that is taking shape. There will be a separate party room in the back of the building that will hold 30 to 40 people. All of the millwork, using stunning reclaimed wood pieces, has been done off-site and is ready.

When you open up an 1836 circa building, unexpected challenges are bound to pop up, resulting in lots of paperwork submitted to the City of Mississauga to bring the building up to current standards. Support beams were installed, gas lines replaced, and electrical brought up to current codes. The renovations are in their final phase.

So as much as we all are anxious for Goodfellas Streetsville to open, we need to give them a little more time to get things just right.  One day, in the not-so-distant future, we will be sitting on their outdoor patio, watching the happenings at Queen and Main Streets – and eventually in the newly redesigned Streetsville Main Street Square. Goodfellas is going to be great for Streetsville.

Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza in Streetsville: Update Posted February 20, 2013

Just got word this morning from Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza that their Streetsville location will hopefully be opening in 6-8 weeks from now. Perfect! Just in time for a wood oven pizza dinner and a glass of wine on a warm spring evening, hopefully on their sidewalk patio. I have never tried Goodfellas but olive the location in the heart of Streetsville, at the corner of Queen Street South and Main Street. After dinner stroll through the village shops, wander down along the Credit River trail to Streetsville Memorial Park, then loop back and treat your kids or yourself to a Murphy’s ice cream cone back on Main Street. I am looking forward to the days getting longer and the pizza coming hot from the wood burning oven to my sidewalk table. I can’t wait to try out Goodfellas’ southern Italian cuisine and if olive it, I will tell you all about it. Stay tuned.


Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza
209 Queen Street South,
Mississauga, ON

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