There's nothing quite like a bicycle ride over rolling hillsides for shaking up the doldrums of daily idling. The shuttle bus will pick up bikeseekers between 8 and 9 a.m. and head across the Golden Gate Bridge toward wine country. Upon arrival, the guided bike ride begins, and you'll hop from winery to winery like a king on a checkerboard. All the tour guides are trained sommeliers with craniums filled with wine knowledge—and possibly wine. Sample varietals aperitifs along the course of the journey and stop for a delightful picnic lunch among the vineyards. The shuttle bus will follow along to carry anything purchased at the wineries or to assist thoroughly tuckered trekkers. Daytrippers are returned to the city by 7 p.m., in time to share the sunset with a lucky loved one—a girlfriend, a husband, a bottle of wine wearing a wig, etc. Purchase up to four of today's deal and invite friends, family, or a group of beloved strangers to join the journey. If you want to bring a friend along who doesn't possess a Groupon, that person will get 20% off the tour.
Housed within the heart of Golden Gate Park, Park Chalet Garden Restaurant manages to simultaneously embrace its natural surroundings and its contemporary, urban setting. Glass walls and ceilings completely surround the diners, affording them pastoral views of Queen Wilhelmina's windmill and the dutch-tulip garden without sacrificing the comfort of an indoor environment. During warm, sunny days, natural light floods the space and the retractable glass doors slide open to admit warm breezes. The dining room's pendant lamps and immense stone fireplace become invaluable at night, keeping the restaurant brightly lit and the temperatures toasty throughout the evening.
To complement this elegantly cozy ambiance, Executive Chef Matthew Urban and his team devised a menu of familiar comfort foods with subtly refined touches. Smoked paprika oil adds an unfamiliar yet welcome burst of savory flavor to the fried chicken, and cornmeal-crusted trout arrives at tables with an aromatic saffron aioli. Occasionally, the chefs look for inspiration in other cuisines and fuse those flavors with Californian ingredients. Crushed avocados add to the ahi tuna tartare's richness, but the dish's ginger-sesame vinaigrette balances those flavors with a hint of zesty spice.
However, the chefs aren't the only culinary talent at Park Chalet Garden Restaurant. The staff also brews a variety of beers in-house, crafting everything from smoky, German-style märzens to refreshingly hoppy IPAs. As diners enjoy one of these brews with their meal, they can take in the views and applaud the local bands and extraterrestrial magicians that perform every Tuesday evening.
Sink into soft cushions beneath honeycomb chandeliers as you slip into the Sunday morning feastival. Menu selections include a prawn salad with chicories and tangerines ($15) or house-made brioche french toast with spiced apples and maple syrup fraiche ($11). Well past noon, gingerly ease into the day as you would with a too-warm hot tub with a sparkling pinot noir ($5) and goat cheese semifreddo with melon granite and peppercorn meringue ($9). Nectar Wine Lounge carries more than 600 bottles of wine, along with standard brunch sips such as mimosas ($7). Eating, sipping, and socializing all take place within a cozy, coolly lit lounge atmosphere with a drizzling of natural light from an overhead skylight.
Boasting more than 2,000 brands of wine, Vineyard Gate provides an Eden for oenophiles as well as an ideal place for tannin tenderfoots to cover acres of unexplored fertility. Venerable vino aficionados help pick out wine that pairs perfectly with each client's palate and lifetime supply of space meals. Vineyard's selection spans both the far ends of the Earth and the budget: for less than $30, sample the crisp, fruity 2007 Sacha Lichine VDP blanc ($9) or the 2006 Waterbrook cabernet sauvignon, with hints of ripe cherry and currant ($21). This Groupon can also go toward a splurge on more swanky spirits such as the 2004 Château de la Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Burgundy, an elegant elixir with a mouth-coating finish ($106). Vineyard also offers a variety of sparkling wines, roses, champagnes, and half-bottles for the more temperate tippler.
750ml is a hybrid wine store and bar that regularly plays host to personal and corporate events and features the self-serve technology of Enomatic. With 24 different wines available to taste, the Enomatic wine dispenser pours samples by the ounce ($1.20-$6.80). The enological emporium boasts a collection of wines from California, the Pacific Northwest, South America, Australia, and an alternate, dystopian 1985. Sample a one-ounce taste of the Arneis Ponzi from Willamette Valley, Oregon ($2), a half-glass of the Californian Russian River Reds 2008 Pinot Noir ($5), or a full glass of French Vin du Bugey Sparkling Rose ($10). Libationists will also find microbrew beers ($5–$8) and non-alcoholic offerings. Pair potables with a charcuterie trio from Paul Bertolli's Fra'Mani ($15) or with a cheeseboard of Californian Humboldt Fog goat's milk cheese, Australian Seal Bay cow's milk cheese, and Italian Fiore Sardo pecorino sheep's milk cheese ($15). An olive medley ($5) and Marcona almonds ($5) round out the edible offerings, providing an ample array of sensual small bites to suit a romantic date with your significant other or new ficus tree.