THE anticipation for Las Ramblas and Grill on the Square's Italian sister has been building for months, but San Lorenzo is finally open for business.

After heading up the grand steps of the Old Treasury building on Palmyra Square, also home to the aforementioned Las Ramblas as well as the Institution, San Lorenzo's impressive dining hall, with its high, beamed ceiling, is fitted out very elegantly.

One of the most pleasing features of this design is that diners can watch their chefs perfect their craft at one end of the space.

WATCH: First look inside San Lorenzo

And they are put straight to work on the prosciutto e melone starter, an ideal taster to whet the appetite with its sun ripe Galia melon nestled in succulent Parma ham.

My companion opens with the San Lorenzo meatballs - Tuscan sausage and steak meatballs bathed in a lightly spiced tomato sauce.

The meatballs had originally been my starter of choice until I spotted the prospect of a meatball Calzone for a main.

San Lorenzo boasts an extensive selection of handmade sourdough pizzas, all cooked in a huge wood-fired oven that dominates the chef's territory of the restaurant.

And while the meatballs themselves are mouthwateringly good, the Calzone's basil and tomato sauce is beautifully complemented by fontina cheese and parmesan.

The dough itself is chewy and soft in parts and satisfyingly crunchy in others, with crusts 'not to be discarded' as the menu helpfully advises.

Meanwhile, my companion opts for the lobster ravioli giganti - a large ravioli stuffed with lobster and salmon, accompanied by a light and creamy lobster sauce and herbs.

Indeed, all of San Lorenzo's stuffed pasta dishes are handmade in-house by the establishment's pasta 'maestro' Mario Perrelli.

Turning to the dessert menu, a sickening Nutella Calzone admittedly catches the eye.

For a brief second it seems like a good idea to go for broke and go double Calzone but, luckily, the well-stocked stomach overrules the heart and we order a classic raspberry souffle each - largely because it is the only item on a list of tempting puddings that we could possibly force down ourselves.

We are well warned that the souffle will take 20 minutes to arrive, but it is certainly worth the wait.

Served alongside a refreshing raspberry sorbet, it is light, fluffy and deliciously sweet.

All of this is washed down by a couple of Menabrea, an Italian premium lager every bit fit to grace such a fine feast.

And our waiters are an ideal mix of friendly and attentive.

With food and a venue this good, it is inevitable that San Lorenzo will join its owners' other ventures as staples of Warrington's culinary scene.

San Lorenzo officially opens its doors on Tuesday, April 24.