Grapes have played a tremendous role in human history—many members of the Hapsburg dynasty were at least half-grape—and they tended to do their best work at vineyards. Today's Groupon treats you to one of the San Diego region's better graperies with $75 worth of gourmet cuisine and drinks at Callaway Vineyard and Winery's Meritage in Temecula for $35. You'll also get 10% off everything at Callaway's wine store (just print your Groupon twice to use it once in the restaurant and once in the store). You may use one Groupon for every two people at your table, so you, your identical twin, and your identical twin dates can all enjoy a night of wacky mismatches and delicious food.
Executive chef Michael Henry won the Temecula Valley Chef's Open for his Balinese peppercorn seared ahi with pomegranate sauce and a salad of butternut squash, fennel, and duck confit. The Meritage menu lets you sample similarly prize-worthy fare. Start with a tapas plate or two of grilled Spanish chorizo with eggplant and fontina bruschetta and red wine drizzle ($11), or keep it veggie with tofu and shiitake mushroom pot stickers with radish, scallion, and rice wine vinegar ($10). They will whet your appetite for such entrees as the wild shrimp penne with eggplant, roasted pepper, arugula, extra virgin olive oil, and parmesan bread crumbs ($20), or the grilled cheese made with brie, horseradish butter, smoked beef, and sourdough bread ($17)—quite possibly the most decadent comfort food you'll ever eat.
The only proper libation for such a luxuriant feast is Callaways Vineyards' diverse array of wines. Callaway's 2008 special selection muscat canelli has won the most awards so far, while this year's chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, calliope white, sangiovese, and pinot gris have all pulled in accolades of their own. And if you taste something you really like, you can buy it for 10% less at the vineyard's wine store and take it home with you on a trolley.
Yelpers give Meritage 3.5 stars:
- Eaten here several times and always been impressed by the fare and the quality! – Moe M., Yelp
- This was quite possibly the best meal and service I've ever had. – Shane D., Yelp
- I recently took my mother to Meritage for a Mother's Day brunch. The food was wonderful and the ambience was fantastic. Practically all the tables at the restaurant have a view of the sweeping vine-filled hillsides, which was something we really appreciated as we sipped our Viognier on an 80 degree day. – Erin H., Yelp