What’s for dinner? Cranelli’s! Lone Tree is so fortunate to have this small but amazing Italian restaurant nestled in the retail outlets of the Crest Apartments on Park Meadows Drive, across from the University of Phoenix. It’s like the best home-cooked meal you’ve ever had served up with love and pride by the owner’s Jimmy and Lasinda Crane.
Feeling the love at Cranelli’s
Recently I had the privilege of dining at Cranelli’s with several other Lone Tree residents as guests of the Crane family. We sampled the most delicious dishes and were really treated like family with hugs from Lasinda who made a point to learn all our names and welcome us.
Jimmy and Lacinda Crane
That’s typical of the atmosphere at Cranelli’s, though. The understated décor is simple and lovely, a nice backdrop to the smiles and outstanding customer service lavished on each diner. The Cranes have basically adopted their staff and that feeling of family permeates the atmosphere along with the delicious scent of freshly baked garlic knots and the delightful homemade sauces bubbling in the kitchen.
The garlic knots are coming out of the oven throughout the day and they hit your table around the same time your drink orders are served. We dipped them in their homemade marinara sauce and made short work out of several baskets.
The next course-appetizers; were as delectable to look at as they were to eat. The Antipasto and Caprese salads are bursting with color and flavor. Lasinda told us they had run out of basil from their usual supplier, but that she had plucked fresh basil leaves from her herb garden on the patio for us.
For dinner our party of eight each ordered a different dish. We all placed a portion of our meal on a community plate and passed it around so everyone could try a bit of each meal.
The lasagna was a runaway favorite; flavorful and meaty, topped with their homemade béchamel sauce, served in a half or full size (get the full size and take some home for lunch the next day, unless you end up eating it all like me), it will leave you feeling full and oh, so satisfied.
Another delectable dish (well, they all are really) is the Aioli. Don’t worry if you don’t pronounce it right, the staff knows what you mean. The pasta, cooked al dente, is bathed in a light but flavorful white wine sauce and tossed with garlic olive oil, Jimmy tossed in cherry tomatoes and sausage and boy was I glad he did!
The menu samples a little of everything Italian; from the variety of pastas, to the calzones, pressed sandwiches and thin crust pizza pies. Many entrees are offered in a full or half size to suit any appetite and one of the great things about eating at Cranelli’s is the staff’s willingness to accommodate a special request if they can. A veggie calzone but with sausage added, no problem!
Cranelli's Restaurant Team
Cranelli’s is truly a place for everyone. Kids will love the special menu for them, and the patio is small and cozy for an intimate couples dinner. There is plenty of room for your office lunch meeting or let them bring to you because they also cater. If it’s delivery you’re looking for; they do that too, just go to 303delivery.com or simply call the restaurant if you’re close by them.
No meal would be complete without dessert and Lasinda and Jimmy do it up right. The tiramisu is moist, layered and bursting with sweet tangy goodness. A traditional cannoli topped with chocolate chips or almonds is a real treat. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten their sweet knots; born of the same fresh baked batch for garlic knots, these soft bites of bread are dipped in a cinnamon and sugar bath with icing and melt on your tongue when you bite into a fresh warm one.
Here’s what our party had to say about dinner at Cranelli’s:
“Delicious food, great atmosphere” Kristina
“The music is very nice, classy décor, not overdone. The food is superlative!” Cathy
We’re still going to come eat at least twice a week here.” Frank
“A lot of food for the money. The staff is amazing and so accommodating.” Christine
Food, Atmosphere, Cleanliness, Service, Value, Overall on a scale of 1 worst and 5 best; all 5s! Dan
Would you recommend this restaurant to a friend-yes! Mike and Callie
For incredibly delicious Italian fare made fresh and served with an enthusiastic smile head to Cranelli’s. Get a hug from Lasinda and waive to Jimmy in the kitchen. Remember...save room for dessert! Go to Cranellis.com to see our full menu.