22 May 2017

The Luna Caprese

The Luna Caprese was in North Parade which, Oxford being Oxford, is of course a couple of miles South of South Parade. It was an Italian restaurant, near Pam's college, where we ate for years; not least, on the occasions of celebrations, as on that 21 May when we went there after my deaconing.

The Luna never changed. Most of the Italian community, after a brief, bright flirtation with white tiles and the Terazza, lapsed into Pizzeriarity; but at the Luna the menu offered the same dishes in the same copperplate hand as it did when it opened in 1962 (two years after we both went up to Oxford and had met on the stairs outside the studies of Margaret Hubbard and Iris Murdoch doctissimae mulieres). You got old style classical Italian dishes, which naturally meant several ways with vitello. You sat there over your starter listening to them bashing the meat in the kitchen. Neither did the decor change; until the day it closed in January 2014, it was still the same faintly improbable set-up as it had been in the decade when ARCIC with its high hopes was setting sail and Rome and Canterbury had agreed to solve the old problems and, meanwhile, had covenanted not to put in place any new differences.

Old hopes; unforgivable deceptions. Never trust a liberal is the main lesson I learned in the C of E, and I pass it on to readers now that some in the Catholic Church are unwisely exploring the same treacherous swamps as Anglicanism did a couple of generations ago.

Drain the swamps!

After the Luna closed, I kept one of the old menus. They were very satisfying. After all, if a neodiaconos wants to, why shouldn't he settle down to Saltimbocca alla Romana and follow it with zabaglione and strawberries?

9 comments:

William Tighe said...


An American "Luna Caprese" (located about 15 miles from my childhood and young adult home):

http://www.lunacaprese.biz/

And the Cambridge version (in my time there run by a Greek family):

http://www.varsityrestaurant.co.uk/

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth said...

I have similarly fond memories of the Luna Caprese as it was the restaurant at which we dined in October 1990, just one month after my ordination to the priesthood after I had celebrated Mass at St Aloysius and addressed the Newman Society of the University. Friendships forged that evening have endured and have continued to be a source of joy and encouragement to me across the years.

El Codo said...

How happy we were in those golden chains! Oxford:Royalist and Tractarian hunting grounds...Et in Arcadia Ego!

Adrian said...

Oh no - the Luna Caprese closed? Eheu fugaces, où sont les neiges d'antan etc etc. The first Italian restaurant I ever visited and one that held many happy memories. Oxford really is going to the dogs.

Jhayes said...

I have read that Mr. Ventriglia of the Luna Caprese now holds forth at the Kings Head in Woodstock

The menu has his name and the Saltimbocca alla Romana., etc.

http://www.kingsheadwoodstock.co.uk/menu%201.pdf

Perhaps worth a drive to see how it compares.

Winslow1191 said...

Fr. Hunwicke, it is not disputed that the Pope has not uttered a single formal 'From The Chair' heretic syllable. He's much too smart to leave himself open to being deposed. What he has done is enable heresy *and applauded it* once it has come to pass. The dioceses in Argentina, Malta in Germany and the Diocese of San Diego, California, and who knows where else, are giving Holy Communion to public adulterers. That is a gross deviation from the constant 2000 year teaching of the Church and clear heresy and schism. It could not have happened without the well-crafted Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia and the Pope's approving rheoric.

Can there be any doubt that document had the complete approval of the Pope? When one insists the 'jot and tittle' standard is the only legitimate one by which to assess the actions of the Pope, you may have a case. May have, but somehow I don't think Our Lord will accept it when He, and most of the rest of us, a bedrock principle of Catholic doctrine is being violated and the Pope has engineered it.

Is it not the obligation of the Bishop of Rome to defend the Catholic Faith and her doctrines? Is it not his obligation to clarify doctrinal ambiguities, especially when such clarification is sought from him? The Pope is seriously deficient in this matter across the board. Is that heresy? I don't know, but I know it's in that category.

Your erudite defense of him, and it is a defense, lacks discernment and avoids reality. It is the Pope who is responsible for the giving of Communion to unrepentant adulterers. That is clearly on the books and it is heresy.

Ferde Rombola, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA

Fr John said...

Many, many happy memories of the Luna - in such easy staggering distance of the seminary in Norham Gardens as it was in those heady days of the early 1970s

El Codo said...

No Mr Ventriglia nor Saltimbocca alla Romana at the King's Head,Woodstock. I checked this evening en route to Oxford.Tempus fugit.

Bruce Graham said...

I myself have very fond memories of a Luna Caprese restaurant in Islamabad, Pakistan. That was back in the days before it was bombed of course.