[ Link: http://www.nightbeforechristmas.biz/ ]


I lived in an apartment on West 23rd Street in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood  when I attended the New York Restaurant School. One of the things I loved about living in Chelsea was the fact that my apartment was on land that was formerly the estate belonging to the family of Clement Clarke Moore (1779 ~ 1863) who wrote “A Visit from St. Nicholas” – better  known today as “The Night Before Christmas.” I had treasured a beautifully illustrated copy that – alas – suffered the fate of being loved too well. I read it so many times it eventually fell apart. It remains one of the best and most magical poems I’ve ever read.


I hope Mr. Moore would not be too harsh a critic of my effort to capture the spirit of his poem and the magic of Sweet Basil at Christmas time. We’ll have no “new fallen snow” nor a “chimney” nor “the down of a thistle.” But we’ll strive to make “A Visit to Chef Basil’s” part of a “Happy Christmas” to all.




The WEEKS Before Christmas


‘Twas some weeks before Christmas,

when the staff completed its appraisal

and found everything ready to go at Sweet Basil:

Decorations were hung all ‘round the store with care,

And gifts galore were here, there and everywhere!

There were Pans for baking and Pots for cooks,

and shelves of tantalizing recipe Books.

And Knives for slicing and Food Mills for ricing

and Bowls to mix batter, dressings and icing.

And shelves of delicious Treats for noshing.

And Platters for serving and Rolling Pins for squashing,

and Tea Pots, Cups, Mugs and Tins of  Tasty Teas.

And ready-for-fresh-grinding roasted coffees.

And Ready-2-Go Gift Baskets or they can be Custom Made.

And bottles of imported Olive Oil and jars of Marmalade.

And Gift Certificates that can be used in Sweet Basil’s Market Cafe

or for Cooking Classes or elegant Wine Glasses for that aged Cabernet.

Chef Basil is ready to greet Sweet Basil's guests

and join the Staff in wishing each the Best           

and Merriest Christmas!