Port Hope Proud & Full of “Black Beans”

Recently, I have found a new man that will ease a very large transition in my life – and my boyfriend completely approves of him!

Black Beans Port Hope restaurant logo

Located downtown Port Hope, Ontario

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.

With tremendous; but truly unfounded regret – I relented – believing I faced a future of hour-long VIA rail transportation each time I wished to reach my favorite big city watering holes.

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


From Toronto, Ontario

I was born in Oakville, Ontario; but moved three hours north to the Bruce Peninsula at a young age where my parents still farm beef cattle in the rolling hills - off the Lake Huron shoreline – today. Always a ‘self-starter’, my first job was as a rabbit farmer, an enterprise began with my father at age ten to supplement my weakness for Archie comic books.

Later, while working toward my degree in History and English Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University, I discovered my passionate quest to inform on my regional agriculture. Coupled with a natural affinity for conversation – these qualities developed into a part-time career in the hospitality industry. Following graduation, I traveled to Western Europe and spent an entire summer soaking in the food, wine, beer, and lifestyle of the Continent. It was in Epernay, France – the heart of the Champagne region - that my obsession with history and gastronomy peaked - standing in the caves of Moet & Chandon recalling Winston Churchill’s World War I era quote: “Remember gentlemen, it's not just France we are fighting for, it's Champagne”.
Upon returning to Canada, I wanted to foster such recognition of quality and passion in our own domestic food and beverage industry. So I, first, began by managing a bistro in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District. Along with the responsibilities of beverage management, I also took on staff development. Frustrated by my young staff’s general lack of confidence and knowledge in wine and premium beverage, I started hosting tastings and wine tours to Niagara for my employees – as well as other connections in the industry.

The tours to Niagara’s appellations were a hit - and two years later I launched WineNot Ontario; a blog and wine tour company based on the needs of the restaurant industry with respect to our local Ontario product. Recently, I have returned for graduate education at the University of Toronto for web marketing and e-commerce where I refined my previous skills to now offer content creation and management; social media strategy, and communications for the hospitality and lifestyle industry.

My interest in Canada’s burgeoning beer, food, and wine culture, therefore, brings my love of agriculture, gastronomy, web content and social media together, here, on Foodie.ca.

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4 Responses

  1. Studlyst says:

    yes the staff is amazing..Wes really knows his stuff and enjoys his craft immensely!!!!

  2. Susan Elbertsen says:

    Kaylea,rnReally looking forward to visiting you and Matt in Port Hope. I also think a cocktail and meal at the Black Bean will be on my agenda, too! I wish you and Matt the best, in this new chapter of your lives together.rnmuch love Sue

  3. Kim says:

    A very informative observation and critique of the Black Beans.. Wishing you all the best in Port Hope and continued success to you both!!

  4. Cynthia1234 says:

    welcome to Port Hope!!

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