The wooden benches were worn with familiarity; the awnings, red, green and white, bore the name of a nearly 50-year old-restaurant – a restaurant that the Liberta family opened in 1969 on borrowed groceries and without a single employee.
When we arrived at Luna’s in Old Town Clovis, there was a bustling lunch crowd already seated, each table marked with a basket of soft, neatly sliced Italian bread and butter with red and white checkered paper showing from underneath.At each table, patrons labored over the menu…lasagna, calzones, pizza and pasta options; hearty helpings served on simple plates. There’s nothing pretentious about the atmosphere. No one steps into this place thinking about anything but the abundance of lovingly homemade food that’s made Luna’s a local favorite.
Luna’s menu is simple but authentic; a collection of homemade dishes that showcase the simplicity of traditional food. Still, the restaurant offers a gluten-free version of their highly regarded pizza crust. A collection of dishes offer an option only rarely found at less traditional restaurants: for a mere 50 cents more per dish, customers can opt for freshly prepared pasta: linguine, fettuccini or angel hair.
Unwilling to pass up an opportunity to eat homemade pasta, we ordered the manicotti and meatballs and the angel hair speciale, a combination of mild olive oil, sweet chopped tomatoes and basil topped with chicken, all of which was perfectly designed for emphasizing, but not overpowering the tender homemade pasta. The manicotti was tender, overflowing with mild ricotta cheese, paired with tender meatballs and perfectly seasoned red sauce. For dessert, the waitress served spumoni – Italian ice cream that combines cherries, pistachios and chocolate in an old fashioned glass. A variety of large jars near the register showcased chocolate, almond and twists of homemade biscotti. Apparently it’s not uncommon for customers to purchase a dozen to take home and enjoy.
Today, the restaurant is owned and operated by the Liberta family. Luna’s is located at 349 Pollasky Ave. in Clovis. For more information, visit lunasclovis.com.