Recently, I have found a new man that will ease a very large transition in my life – and my boyfriend completely approves of him!
A few weeks ago, our lives were thrown into chaos when it was revealed with very short-notice that my significant other would be relocated by his company to open a new clinic in the tiny antique-capital of my province, Port Hope, Ontario. Of course, growing up in a rural community and gathering a growing distaste for a few summers spent in downtown Toronto’s sticky smog, the move was not unappealing. However, as a lover of premium beverage and foodie culture – the prospect at being ripped away from the urban glories of the city’s restaurant scene drove a stake deep into my perpetually thirsty – and hungry – heart.
In preparation for our December 1st relocation we recently visited the tiny town that would become our future home, to look for apartments and get familiar with the area. We stayed at the magnificent Victorian-style Penstowe Bed & Breakfast and were advised by ownership to dine on Walton St., at Black Beans Steakhouse and Lounge.
I was intrigued to have been offered this advice so readily after asking for a recommendation, and researched the details of the restaurant via the social media tool, Foursquare, on my Blackberry. There I read a tip provided by a writer for the Financial Post that insisted Black Beans was THE cocktail location destination east of the GTA due to the outstanding talents of Wes Galloway, the head bartender.
Could it be true?
Upon arrival, we were greeted and sat by our server – Lynnsey – who after only fifteen minutes of meeting avidly chatted to us about a shared passion for local wineries; including some memorable time at Ravine Vineyard, in Niagara. With full confidence and success – she ordered our appetizers – and even wine – when I stubbornly put her to the test of what Black Beans was all about. Wes, to our joy, still works here and holds up to all expectation! He joined us at the table and chatted cocktails, liquor, and his craft until our mouths watered. Needless to say, after perfectly cooked scallops; savory beef tip poutine; and two delicious striploins, we had experienced enough to ease the transition to Port Hope; but it was the outstanding talents, professionalism, and friendliness of the staff that made us sign the lease to a flat located almost directly across the street from our new favorite restaurant, and friends.
We look forward with much anticipation to stopping in after moving in this Sunday, and raising a glass to the staff at Black Beans – and our new home in Port Hope!
Below, Wes has graciously shared three of his original and inspired cocktails he prepared for us that evening, now for your drinking pleasure:
1. The North Wind Cocktail (original)
2. First Water Cocktail (original)
- 1.5oz Centennial Rye Whiskey
- .5oz Cream Sherrry
- .5oz Navan Vanilla Cognac
- 2 dashes of orange bitters
3. Sherry Flip (inspired by a classic)
- 2oz Sherry
- 3/4oz organic sugar syrup
- 2 dashes chocolate bitters
- 1oz cream
- 1 egg
- fresh nutmeg