Review: Crispelli's in Troy makes it look easy

Molly Abraham
Special to The Detroit News

It looks so simple when things are done right. Crispelli’s is a good example.

The menu is straightforward and focused, with pizza the star, and a supporting cast of pastas, salads and sandwiches on house-made breads.

A Pepperoni Margherita, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, italian sausage and caramelized onion.

Executive chef Shawn Wright and his crew prepare everything in-house, with help from the Crispelli’s bakery in Royal Oak that turns out rustic breads and pastries for all three Crispelli’s locations. The Troy location is the newest, open for just two years under operating partner Joe Morelli, who, along with his partners, started it all in Berkley in 2012. There is no feeling, however, that this is a chain restaurant.

Pizzas are the thin-crusted variety, with one exception. Deep-dish fans will find one of the popular Detroit style pizzas on the bill of fare. The crisp-crusted pizzas are notable, and range from the classic Margherita topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, to those with such embellishments as pepperoni, prosciutto or shrimp and chorizo. With the addition of a green salad, they make a lunch or dinner without delving further into the menu.

Salads include a very good Caesar as well as the Michigan, a mix of lettuces, dried cherries and cranberries, poached apple and pear, bacon and blue cheese in sherry vinaigrette.

The setting is a low-slung, multi-windowed free-standing building with airy dining areas that flow seamlessly into one another. The brown-and-white color scheme is relaxing and comfortable, with the stone-fired pizza oven the centerpiece. Some, but not all of the tables, are topped with wood from wine boxes. It’s an eclectic look that works well.

Like the menu itself, the wine and beer lists are concise, but lengthy enough to offer plenty of choices without going on and on. Who really needs to choose among 100 beers? And the options include wine by the glass, the half-carafe or the bottle, a nice option.

The pastry desserts include classic versions of tiramisu, cannoli and cheesecake and are the work of lead pastry chef Trenten Chamberlain and his crew at the Royal Oak bakery.

Crispelli’s may be deceptively casual, but it holds its own with more pretentious restaurants in terms of the quality of the food and service.


645 E. Big Beaver, Troy

(248) 680-0066

Rating ★★★

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sun.

Prices: Appetizers $4.25-$10.95, pizzas $9.95-$19.95, pastas $13.95-$18.95, soups $4.5-$10.50, salads $6.50-$20.95, sandwiches $10.50-$13.95, entrees (only at dinner) $12.95-$18.95.

Credit cards: All major

Liquor: Yes

Noise level: Low to moderate

Wheelchair access: No barriers

Parking: Attached lot

What the ratings mean

★ — routine ★★ — good ★★ 1/2 — very good

★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding