“We got lost one day in the car, and ended up in Bathgate by mistake. It was Procession Day, a few years ago. All the flags were out and there was such a fantastic community atmosphere that I loved it immediately, and knew it was the right place to open the kind of restaurant I wanted.”
I’m visiting Daniele Tuveri at La Piuma, the restaurant he and his wife Gayle run in Hopetoun Street, and over a very nice coffee learning his story.
“I moved to Scotland from Sardinia 15 years ago after meeting Gayle. I’ve worked in hospitality since I was 13 years old, and after working in many different restaurants, I wanted to create a restaurant where you could not only get excellent food, but a place you could feel at home.”
So having picked the right location, La Piuma opened in August 2017, to serve excellent Scottish food with an Italian twist. “In Italy, food and family is a really important part of growing up. Food brings the family together to spend time, you spend time with your grandparents and learn from them, experiences that money cannot buy. I come from a farming background and fresh food, family and friends was always part of my life.”
Daniele’s passion for food is obvious, along with his passion equally for community, friendliness and the human touch. “We know our regular customers by name; they pop in for coffee and many have become firm friends. Here are La Piuma we create dishes you wouldn’t necessarily make at home. I believe you go to a restaurant for an experience, not just a plate of pasta. So the way we plate food up, the way we serve it, the way we look after our customers, is all very important. You experience food you would not make yourself, but you feel at home.” All the pasta and bread is made by their chef onsite, who coincidentally is also Sardinian. Daniele tells me one of their waitresses said “At some places I have worked I used to dread asking customers how the food is. But here, I love it, because they are always so positive!”
Besides the A La Carte menu, there is a Market Menu, priced at £7.95 for one course, £11.95 for two courses and £15.95 for three courses. The focus is on fresh Scottish produce, stunningly presented. Plans for the restaurant this year include an outdoors dining area in the private back garden of the restaurant.
With three industry awards under their belt, including Gold at the 2018 Scottish Food Awards, Taste our Best from Visit Scotland, and being fully booked most weekends, Daniele and Gayle must be doing something right. “I’ve been told we could be even busier if we moved the restaurant into Edinburgh. But we wouldn’t have the community we have here, and that means a lot to us.”
For more information and the current menu, please see www.lapiuma.co.uk
52 Hopetoun Street, Bathgate, EH28 4EU. Reservations 01506 650388
Published in Konect May 2019
Author: Helen-Jane Shearer