Bistros are remarkable in that they somehow manage to be both fancy and casual at the same time, much like a necktie with Taz on it. Feel gussied up without too much fuss with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of modern southern-American dinner fare at Iron Horse Restaurant in Ashland, VA.
Iron Horse Restaurant fires up a bounty of regionally sourced seafood, hand-cut steaks, and entertainment. Reserve a table in the comfort of the bistro-style dining room or grab a first-come, first-served table at the sidewalk café. Menus shift seasonally; the upcoming spring dinner menu offers starters such as a plate of titular Iron Horse shrimp and grits served with sofrito ($9.75), only available before the shrimp fly north for the winter. Entrees such as the crab-stuffed trout ($24.50) explore new levels of sea-meat, and fans of land-meat can savor the hand-cut and pan-seared angus rib eye, served with roasted red potatoes and asparagus, and topped with demi-glace ($26).
Though today's Groupon is only valid toward the dinner menu, guests of Iron Horse Restaurant can sate even more of their sensory organs postmeal on Friday nights and occasional Saturday nights after 9 p.m. as live bluegrass, jazz, folk, and blues bands take the bar stage. Tunes are extended on Tuesdays after 8:30 p.m. with open-mic nights featuring local and regional performers.