The owners of Ariete believe strongly that food should not be the focus of the eating-out experience. What they strive to do is excite all the senses with a combination of historical elegance and contemporary design, a regular programme of live, intimate music and a lavish welcome to complement the habitually stunning Italian cuisine. Although the restaurant is a fairly new addition to Newton-le- Willow's picturesque High Street, the building has an incredible history. For hundreds of years, the Leigh family were the lords and landowners of the village and its environs, and the ram's head, which sits proudly atop the restaurant, is Ariete's instantly-identifiable symbol. It also gives the establishment its name: 'Ariete' is Italian for 'ram'. And now for the food: Ariete serves up antipasti, pizzas, pasta, chicken, beef, seafood, risottos and salads, as well as a children's menu and a fantastic range of desserts. I went with an order of garlic dough balls with mozzarella, and fritelle alla marinara - pancakes filled with seafood, cooked in white wine and cheese sauce - to start. Both were excellent; the dough balls had plenty of garlic and cheese, and the pancakes were nice and light. I chose pollo Ariete - grilled chicken marinated in sage and wrapped in pochino ham, served with a sweet red wine sauce - and loved how the meat retained its natural juices, with the crispy ham providing welcome texture and added flavour. I was too full to even think about dessert, but I am told that the selection of Italian puddings and ice creams alone is worth coming back for. I believe I shall.