It is difficult with Italian restaurants as there are a lot of average pizza and pasta restaurants around and usually because it must be a fairly cheap outlay for reatuarant owners the food can be uninspiring-particularly those chains that are everywhere. So when we go to an Italian we like to try their meat dishes to see how they compare with Italy. It was a mixed bag here-my husband loved his pork escalopes but my pork dish was overwhelmed by peppers and a very watery sauce. At £16 for meat courses of pork or chicken it is not cheap.However, the starters were great. It is true that a few added extras would make a difference here. I found the service really nice, but with no candles, no bread or nibbles when you enter the restaurant it doesn't make for a memorable evening (but then again no service charge which is good) the restaurant could be great with a bit more personal touches.The town of Helmsley is mobbed by cafes but no nice restaurants so this place could easily notch its ambience up and add value to the town.