AN ITALIAN restaurant in Newton-le-Willows is aiming to become Rosette-starred after re-vamping the business and creating a whole new menu - building on the success of being the highest rated restaurant in the area.

Verona Kitchen & Bar is a staple of Newton's High Street and is the rated the best restaurant in the area on trip advisor, in addition to being scored as one of the top 10% of restaurants across the country.

Always looking for ways to improve, however, the owners rebranded the business with a whole new menu last month in order to strive for a prestigious Rosette star - held in a similar regard as Michelin stars and highlight restaurants which prepare stand-out meals with the highest quality ingredients and a quality of service.

St Helens Star: An example of the fresh pasta dish on Verona's new menuAn example of the fresh pasta dish on Verona's new menu

After the success of the family business since opening in 2017, the team explain they all have the ambition to do more and reach the next level.

Andy Orgill, owner of Verona, said: "We've built a really good client base sine 2017 but we all have the ambition to do so much more and improve all the time.

"We refurbished the business because I believe in the hospitality sector, if you invest and create the right vibe, more people will come out, enjoy it and spread the word."

With all the food fresh and prepared each day, the new menu includes new variations on their wood-fired pizzas, pasta and sandwiches as well as changing specials - often "infused with international influences and always made with a twist".

St Helens Star: Verona's chef cooking a Sea bream specialVerona's chef cooking a Sea bream special

Head chef Dino Di Vuono, who has worked at a host of big-brand restaurants, said he "loves the freedom" he is granted at Verona, where he is able to put his own twist on a range of meals and specials.

Dino said: "I'm passionate about what I do and I love having the freedom to put my own stamp on things.

"I'm not scared to do something a bit different and put my own unique twist on specials or classics. [...] I'll speak to customers about my dishes and there's really nothing better than people loving something that you made."

St Helens Star: Verona Kitchen & BarVerona Kitchen & Bar

In addition to the menu, Verona also boast an attractive upstairs bar, function room, balcony and beer garden, with gigs, open mic and comedy nights just a handful of the events on offer.

With the bar remaining table service and stocked up with fine wine, beers and champagne, Andy explains the "relaxed atmosphere" of upstairs creates an environment where there is something for everyone.

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St Helens Star: Verona's upstairs bar and function roomVerona's upstairs bar and function room

Explaining that he was one of the first people to invest into Newton's High Street, it has clearly paid dividends for Andy as the restaurant is now one of the hottest places to visit in an area that is thriving with independent businesses.

With the re-launch now behind them, Andy and Dino explain they will be going all out to achieve a Rosette star and have even more aspirations to deliver cooking classes and an in-store shop in the future.