When Gift Giving isn’t a Natural Talent

December 14, 2012
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By Nicholas Harary

The best gift I ever received was a $10 pair of orange gloves bought specifically for my 2 a.m. runs to the Fulton Fish Market (which thankfully ended in 2007).

The Nicholas Wines Holiday Pinot 3-Pack is available online at www.restaurantnicholas.com.

One of my cooks bought me the gloves because the insides were wool and he thought the bright color would hopefully deter the refrigerated trucks from sideswiping me in the dark. He was a smart guy. The first night I put those gloves on, my hands stayed warm and no truck came within 10 feet of me. There’s no doubt, the best gifts are the ones you never realized you needed.

You see, I am obsessed with thoughtful gift-giving because I come from a long line of terrible gift givers. The Santa secret came out pretty early for me so the pressure was off my mom to produce surprises from the big guy. Instead, she would just ask us what we wanted and there it would appear under the tree.

With the name-any-gift thing plus the annual set of Hanes underwear, come September of every year, I knew what I was getting for Christmas. My mom didn’t have it much better. I distinctly remember her getting a new set of snow tires on more than one holiday occasion. I do have a streak of extreme practicality; maybe that comes from snow tires.

Anyway, as we got older, our requested gifts turned into gift cards. And of course, they were never to Restaurant Daniel. One for Target or maybe Bed Bath & Beyond. Regardless, it was always for some store that I generally avoid.

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I finally put an end to it when the kids came around: “Mom, I don’t need gift cards, just surprise the kids with something great.” So now I get New York Giants tree ornaments and the kids get asked what they want for Christmas. Old habits die hard, I guess. Oh well … thankfully, I have terrific parents – they just aren’t great gift givers. It could have been way worse.

So, if these scenarios sound familiar to you, I might have a way out of the gift-giving nightmare that some of us find ourselves in annually. The $85 Nicholas Wines Holiday Pinot 3-Pack includes some of my favorite Pinot Noirs: Rion (Jean Charles) Savigny Les Beaune VV, Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir and Chad Carneros Reserve Pinot Noir. To order log onto www.restaurantnicholas.com” or call 732-345-9977.

Happy Holidays to all!



Nicholas Harary is the owner and executive chef at restaurant Nicholas in Middletown.



In 2011, Restaurant Nicholas launched its Nicholas Wines program. Each month, Nicholas Harary selects one to two wines to sell in the online store (www.restaurantnicholas.com). Chef Harary’s long-lasting, personal relationships with winemakers and his commitment to storing wine at 56 degrees from Day One equates to unique access, value and quality for Nicholas Wines customers. Wines can be ordered by the bottle and/or case and shipped or picked up at the restaurant.


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