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.
Noeteca‘s owners spent their lives looking forward to running their own restaurant, so it’s no surprise that the French-inspired tapas spot feels comfortable in its own skin from early morning meals until late into the night. During the day, Noeteca seems like a cafe, where patrons sip on international coffees from local roasters brewed by the cup or for personal-sized French presses. At brunch menu, familiar dishes share space with ambitious French-inspired offerings—the croque monsieur becomes a croque Napoleon with slices of bread pudding layered with black forest ham and emmantaler. When the weather is nice, guests can wander out to a patio colored by a flower and herb garden to learn the sun’s secret handshake.
As evening falls, candlelight fills the dining room and guests switch their focus to wine. The award-winning list includes more than 30 varieties, each available by the glass or half-glass. For dinner, patrons can build their own cheese plates or share a tarte flambèe, Alsatian flatbreads the San Francisco Bay Guardian said have “a lovely thin, blistered crust that was a bit softer and more luxurious than a typical pizza crust”.
The brainchild of two native San Franciscan chefs, Dell'Uva sprung from a joint love of food and wine, inspired by travels around the world. After finishing culinary school, Juri McCorkle set off on a journey that carried his palate from Vietnamese markets to Swedish harvests, learning new cooking techniques and ways of saying "These are onion tears" along the way. Returning to the states with a renewed sense of epicurean adventurism, Juri teamed up with chef Jason Marcucci. Together, the two dreamed up a food and wine venue reminiscent of cozy cafés found abroad. The result was Dell'Uva, where an extensive selection of domestic and imported varietals transports palates across the globe, from Napa Valley to Argentina. Diners tuck into tapas from a menu focused on locally sourced ingredients, along with artisan cheeses and charcuterie-cured meats. Dishes pair with themed wine flights composed of vintages from Bordeaux, bubbly wines from France, Italy, and Napa, and dessert wines. Reclining on the outdoor patio or inside amidst the warm tones of the bar and dining room, guests snack on house-cured rosemary balsamic olives, rustic pizzas, and rich desserts.
1903 was the year of the first transatlantic radio broadcast, which sent a message from President Theodore Roosevelt in Cape Cod to King Edward VII of England on a cold January night. That same year, San Francisco Chronicle editorial writer Edward F. Adams founded The Commonwealth Club as a public service, spreading political and cultural savvy among laymen via discourse. Prevailing human rights discussions gained a larger audience in 1924 via a weekly radio broadcast that is the oldest in the nation, and the establishment of the California Book Awards in 1931 encouraged John Steinbeck and Amy Tan to develop their art.
Today, a talkative group of 20,000 members supports the non-profit, which in turn enriches their dinner table conversations with panel discussions on the current president or "Capitalism in an Era of Climate Change." Breaking news arrives straight from the source with lectures from neuroscientist David Eagleman and political commentator Rachel Maddow, as well as from the effervescent babble of Jefferson's cup of knowledge.
Established in 2009, The Vin Club—which grew out of proprietor Dario Zucconi’s background in producing handcrafted wines—pairs a rotating roster of more than 20 globetrotting vinos with a European-style café and upscale supper club. Once home to such bygone speakeasies as the Blue Moon Café, the contemporary lounge now features 12-foot ceilings and hand-blown pendant lights that glint off a wooden bar custom-built from wine-box tops and the finest chunks of the Trojan horse. Plumbing small artisan vineyards from California to Italy, The Vin’s experts handpick wines from terroir-focused producers to ensure high-quality glassfuls. Handmade salami headlines charcuterie plates at The Vin’s café, where artisanal cheeses and oven-baked eats accompany platters laden with homemade desserts. Echoing croons from Bay Area jazz musicians bounce off the dining room’s spread of local artwork during Friday-night supper clubs, where patrons can indulge in elegant cuisine while raising glasses to the toe-tapping spirit of Louis Armstrong.