Mini Growl Review: Terra Cotta Gourmet Pizzeria

Category: Mini Growl Review

Laurel R.

Terra Cotta Gourmet Pizzeria

By Laurel R.

A small contingent of Growlitas braved the cold and wind on the evening of March 2, 2013 to meet up for a Mini Growl at Terra Cotta Gourmet Pizzeria.

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Terra Cotta is located at 318 Pelissier Street, and typical of most downtown Windsor locations, parking can be a bit of a challenge (especially on a Saturday night!). When you visit Terra Cotta, be sure to allow plenty of time to find a spot and walk to the restaurant.

After making a couple of circles around the block Lisa L. and I were able to find parking not too far from the restaurant, and after a short walk found ourselves at Terra Cotta‘s simple storefront with glowing neon sign and large window through which we could see pizzas being prepared.

The warmth inside the restaurant was a welcome relief from the cold night air, and the delicious smoky aroma emanating from the wood-fired brick oven was a mouth-watering bonus.

Although we hadn’t made reservations, we were seated quickly at a cosy table for four at the back of the restaurant. Our party was soon completed by the arrival of Lisa M. and Sylvia V., who had brought with her individual packages of newly-printed Windsor Girls Growlâ„¢ business cards for distribution to our fellow Growlers.


After some oohing and aahing over the gorgeous cards, we got down to the business of ordering, as we were all hungry and ready for some good food. (As Lisa L. observed while perusing the menu, “I’ll have one of everything!”)

We began by sharing an order of Focaccia Verde which Lisa L. and I had ordered shortly after we arrived (I told you we were hungry!) and which conveniently arrived almost as soon as the four of us were assembled. This spinach and artichoke dip, served with wedges of grilled focaccia, was deliciously creamy and savoury – a very nice warm-up to our meal.

Fresh Gourmet SaladSalads were next – sides of the Garden and Caesar varieties for Lisa M. and Sylvia V., and a regular-sized Terra Cotta Salad with, as noted on the menu, “a Pesto/Balsamic dressing with attitude” for Lisa L. and me to share.

I can’t speak for the others, but the Terra Cotta Salad was fresh and flavourful, and left us debating the identity of the mystery dressing ingredient that provided the oh-so-delicious attitude. (I maintain it was artichoke hearts, but the jury’s still out on that one!)

PizzaNext came the pizza in all its wood-fired brick oven yumminess. Our table had ordered several different varieties and swapped samples of the others’ slices (all in the name of research, you know!). Our choices included the Calabrese (tomato sauce, mozzarella, soppressata, black olives), La Bruna (tomato sauce, tapenade, mozzarella, asiago cheese, mushrooms, eggplant, spinach, garlic), and Pomodoro Secco (tomato sauce, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, spinach). I thought each was delicious in its own way, with light and crispy crust, generous toppings, and creative combinations of ingredients.

Then it was time for dessert. DESSERT? Who had room for dessert?! As it turned out, MOST of us did – we’d spotted the Tiramisu and Nutella Pizza on the menu right at the beginning, and had judiciously set aside several pieces of our dinner pizza for later consumption at home in order to save some room for sampling one of the delicious desserts.

nutellapizzaI have a thing for Nutella, so you can probably guess which dessert I chose! Though I have yet to find a Nutella pizza that matches the one prepared by the chefs at the Caboto Club, I greatly enjoyed a couple of pieces of Terra Cotta‘s sweet treat with its yummy crispy crust and generous topping of Nutella and powdered sugar. The dessert was enormous and proved to be far too much to handle after my filling meal of appetizer, salad, and pizza, but I happily boxed it up and took it home to my appreciative husband.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Terra Cotta. The restaurant is cosy and clean, the food delicious and reasonably priced, and the menu offers a variety of dietary options including whole wheat dough, gluten free dough, and vegetarian/vegan choices.

Our server was friendly and attentive, and patiently worked with us to manually split our bill at the end of the evening. It’s worth noting, though, that their billing system doesn’t seem to be set up to easily process separate cheques. Larger parties, while certainly able to be accommodated in the restaurant’s long and narrow physical space, might find payment at the end of the night somewhat inconvenient.

On our way out we noticed a sign offering a two-for-one Wednesday night special for University of Windsor and St. Clair College students, which got a couple of us planning our next visit! Then, full of good food and happy after a great evening together, we headed out into the night, which somehow seemed a little less cold than when we first arrived.

Laurel R.‘s Overall Rating GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeFade

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Lisa M. March 4, 2013, 1:38 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner on Saturday. The waitress was incredibly accomodating, and very attentive; the veggies in my starter salad were so fresh and crisp, the only thing I would change is asking them to go easy on the dressing rather than have it on the side. The salad came with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing that I didn’t stir enough, so I ended up with just oil when I poured a bit of it on. It was a nice, light oil, though that complemented the salad very well. I also enjoyed eating my way around the table, trying everyone’s pizza. All three we ordered were divine. I can’t wait to go back and try more! Oh, and the tiramisu was light and creamy and worth taking leftovers home for. 🙂

  • Kimberley
    March 4, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Great review, Laurel! Sounds like a warm, inviting place. I like that they have so many vegetarian options, and the nutella dessert pizza sounds right up my husband’s alley – lol!

  • Sylvia V. March 4, 2013, 6:39 pm

    I loved the ambiance in this little hidden treasure. It was long and narrow and, from our table at the back, I could take in a view of the whole restaurant. Terra cotta flower pots hung as lampshades over each table giving it an authentic feel. The staff were sincere and the food was presented with creativity and care. The bar offers a wide selection of Jones soda and many flavours of Smirnoff vodka so you can create your own mix. I chose root beer with vanilla vodka. The tiramisu was especially memorable and likely the best I’ve ever had. We spent several hours lingering after our meal was finished and we were not rushed out the door. It is a relaxing place to sit back with the girls, yack and take your time.

  • Lisa March 4, 2013, 9:46 pm

    Terra Cotta is a very inviting little place that is worth a second look. I loved the wood fire smell as soon as I entered, and keep thinking about the artichoke and spinach appetizer-yum! The Terra cotta salad was also very noteworthy-not short on taste, that’s for sure and would recommend sampling it! The server was very attentive and extremely accomodating. My only suggestion would be to take the “Terra Cotta” theme a little bit further in the decor, it would make an already inviting place even more so.


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