What's a crispelli? It's a deliciously sinful Italian bakery treat, similar to a fritter. In Berkley, however, the word has a whole new meaning now with officially opening its doors this week. It's the newest eatery in town, and judging by the comments of patrons, destined for success.
"The pizza here is really, really good – it has a very authentic taste. The whole place has a sophisticated California feel. And, it's at a great price point – this is the kind of place where you can bring the kids and still relax with a nice glass of wine," said Pat Gillette, who was with friend Anna Rea enjoying a late lunch at the restaurant Thursday afternoon.
Named after the traditional Italian treats, Crispelli's parking lot has been packed since a soft opening last week. It officially opened its doors this week in a carefully remodeled space at the southwest corner of 12 Mile and Woodward that housed a Denny's restaurant years ago. The new design features a comfortably modern, fresh and open feel with expansive windows, white walls, marble counters and warm wood accents. Two outdoor patio dining areas are ready and waiting for warmer weather.
Crispelli's offers brick-oven pizza, artisan breads, fresh-baked desserts, salads, entreés, sandwiches, paninis and side dishes. There's no wait staff – orders are placed at the counters and patrons can watch their food being prepared.
The restaurant also incorporates a unique marketplace featuring pre-packaged food items, fresh breads and desserts and a selection of wines to take home.
The restaurant is owned by partners Mark Artinian, Ken Morelli, Joe Morelli and Glen Willson, each of whom brings many years of restaurant experience to the table. The Morelli brothers each owned and operated Papa Romano's franchises for more than 30 years, Artinian founded Bosco's Pizza Co. (famous for its mozzarella-filled Bosco Sticks) and Willson owns Willson's Pub & Grill in Commerce Township.
"Our plan is to get this restaurant running smooth as can be, and then to look for a second location, then grow from there," Ken Morelli said.
If you go
Crispelli's is open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Later this year, the restaurant plans to offer breakfast hours. For more information, call Crispelli's at 248-591-3300.