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.
Have you ever chowed down on a skewer of wild boar while cheering your favorite sports team to victory on a big-screen TV? What seems like a fantasy becomes reality at The Third Eye Restaurant & Sports Bar, where Indian cuisine and sports fandom come together in a casual bar setting. The restaurant's food is a serious step up from typical sports-bar fare, with dishes that include braised rabbit and dumplings stuffed with water buffalo. If you're on the fence about what to order, visit during a weekday buffet, when you can select the dishes that most closely resemble your favorite team's colors.
Fine-art photographers Rod and Robin Deutschamnn founded In Focus Learning Center on a simple premise: a photo's quality depends on lighting, focus, and the photographer's vision. At In Focus Learning Center, they emphasize these keys to quality, downplaying high-tech gear and post-shoot editing. In their classes and symposiums, the shutterbugs focus on "manual photography," the art of manipulating a digital camera's settings to suit the desired shot?which could be a landscape, an infrared image, or an action shot of a baby on its first high-speed chase.
GoKart Racer safely curbs the need for speed with its fleet of Sodi RX 7 European racing karts, which come equipped with hydraulic brakes, a four-point racing harness, and a 9-horsepower Honda engine that can reach up to 35 miles per hour. The speedsters weave through each facility's indoor European-style road courses, including the 3/8-mile SuperTrack, which has more than 20 turns, an elevation change, and the occasional hotshot, road-jumping frog.
Before the green flag waves, the staff members equip racers with a racing suit, a helmet, and a brief rundown of the kart's abilities and dietary regulations. They tailor races to different age groups by offering kids? karts, a driving school for minors, and racing leagues for experienced drivers, and they augment traditional racing with a laser maze. The facility also welcomely opens its doors for birthday parties and other events.
Fueled by a passion to make the Asia-born sport of badminton more accessible and popular here in the United States, the founders of Bay Badminton Center lovingly maintain 37 regulation courts across three locations. They?ve designed everything to let players concentrate on their game, from an electronic court-queuing system that keeps everyone in order to adequate lighting that reduces strain on the eyes. They even installed a full Robbins flooring system that allows players to lob shuttlecocks back and forth without worrying about slipping on a mat or being unkind to their leg joints. After games, guests can hit the shower-equipped locker rooms to rinse off. Players who haven?t yet surgically replaced their hand with a racket can rent one or buy one at the fully equipped pro shop at each location.
During three-hour classes at Art Social, instructors strive to foster an environment as lively as the paintings that inspire them. At various restaurants, wine bars, or galleries across the Bay Area, students begin the evening chatting with classmates against the backdrop of soft music and clinking wine glasses. Once students have settled into their personal painting stations, instructors delve into history, context, and scratch 'n' sniff features of the evening's chosen painting, which has included works such as Gustav Klimt's The Kiss or Van Gogh's Starry Night. Step-by-step instruction ensures students of all levels take home a personal masterpiece, whether it is a replica of the painting being taught or the bowls of fruit that haunt the student's mind.