When we're lucky enough to live so close to the beautiful Hampshire coast, it makes perfect sense to spend as much time gazing out over the water as possible.

Handy, then, that Figurati restaurant, at Admiral's Quay in Southampton's Ocean Village, boasts stunning floor to ceiling windows offering diners the perfect view of the boats bobbing about in the marina.

Formerly an office building, the beautiful, high-ceiling-ed space was clearly wasted as it was, but was transformed into the relaxed, classy decor of the Italian-themed eaterie by owners Chris and Nicola Schutrups and Rich and Sophie Gilbert around 18 months ago.

Light wooden chairs, green velvet banquettes and lots of plants in wicker pots mean the space feels modern, clean and bright. It's spacious yet instantly both welcoming and cosy.

When we visited on a chilly Monday lunchtime, we were welcomed by friendly, attentive staff who were all pleasingly knowledgeable about the menu, which is carefully curated by head chef Nick O'Halloran, who has been on board since the restaurant's inception.

And what a menu it is. Amended throughout the year to reflect the changing seasons, the selection of dishes is enhanced by a fortnightly changing specials board. With an emphasis on high end, Italian dining, with a modern twist, much of the ingredients are sourced direct from Italy, but Nick uses local suppliers wherever possible.

Daily Echo: The bright and spacious interior at Figurati, Southampton.The bright and spacious interior at Figurati, Southampton. (Image: Figurati)

There's also an extensive wine list, so it took my lunch companion and I a while to take in everything on the menu, and even longer to make our choices. Eventually, we settled on the Devon crab arancini and the burrata to start, although the chalk stream trout also came highly recommended.

Both generous portions, the dishes were attractively presented and, after taking a quick snapshot to share on social media, we dove straight in. The burrata was wonderfully creamy and accompanied beautifully by the sweet flavours of roasted baby beetroot, drizzled in extra virgin olive oil. Meanwhile, the arancini, served in a warm seafood bisque, was absolutely full of flavour and tantalisingly more-ish, presented with a helping of fresh, salty samphire.

When it comes to mains, again, the selection is huge, with a range of traditional pastas and pizzas on offer, as well as steak, chicken, fish and vegetarian options. We both decided to order off the specials menu, opting for the pulled chicken and 'nduja panini and the open beef focaccia, as well as a side of Figurati fries to share. In hindsight, the fries were probably an error, as we hadn't anticipated just how sizeable the 'sandwiches' would be.

The open beef focaccia was melt in the mouth delicious. Perfectly rare and accompanied by shavings of parmesan and the most sumptuous Caesar dressing, it was the most comforting plate for a cold winter's day.

My panini was stuffed full with tender chicken chunks, paired perfectly with the spicy nduja, along with sweet red peppers. The bread was crusty, yet soft, making for a chunky sandwich. Despite starting to feel full, it was just too good to leave.

We even managed a fair few of the chips – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – dipped into a helping of creamy aioli.

Daily Echo: Italian food with a modern twist at Figurati, Southampton. Italian food with a modern twist at Figurati, Southampton. (Image: Figurati)

I really wasn't sure I could manage a dessert but, having taken a look at what was on offer to satisfy my curiosity, I couldn't resist.

Traditionalists will love the choices here, including the classics, tiramisu and affogato, but we settled on the bombolini – described as Italian doughnuts – and the Figurati rocher.

I was grateful for the short break before the sweet dishes were served as, once again, they were on the large side.

However, the bombolini, exactly as described and served with vanilla pastry cream, vanilla gelato and butterscotch, were surprisingly light. The Figurati rocher, meanwhile, was a chocoholic's paradise – dark chocolate delice with a hazelnut ganache, toasted hazelnut and a chocolate and roasted hazelnut gelato. Simply delicious.

Overall, excellent food, excellent service and an enviable location – well worth a visit.

Figurati is adding a selection of sharing platters and desserts to the menu for Valentine's Day.

To book, visit figurati-southampton.co.uk