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 this Groupon.
Choose Between Two Options
- $15 for $30 worth of French-Southern cuisine for two at lunch
- $25 for $50 worth of French-Southern cuisine for two at dinner
The lunch menu, served Monday–Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., features a broiled crab cake atop a salad of mixed greens, fennel-green-olive relish, and grilled-tomato vinaigrette ($14) and a New England–style roll filled with lobster salad, celery leaves, and a dash of truffle oil.
The dinner menu, served Monday–Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., showcases a bacon-wrapped roasted chicken breast with a spoon-bread waffle ($16) as well as a limoncello-marinated salmon filet with roasted green beans and turnip-whipped potatoes in a brown-butter emulsion.
M Bistro’s owner and Executive Chef Michael Hall spent some time studying architecture, and it shows. His upscale bistro plates arrive as carefully piled structures with foundations of caramel-corn pudding and beams of seared scallops supporting a smoked-bacon drizzle. The Richmond native first learned to cook from his mother, but it wasn’t until he became disenchanted with architecture that he began refining his kitchen talents at The Culinary Institute of America in New York. Chef Hall eventually returned to Virginia, armed with classical French techniques and an encyclopedia of traditional Southern flavors that he merges into refined, yet casual plates at M Bistro.
Contemporary influences dominate the culturally fused menu, evident in the short-rib bourguignon and the catfish-wrapped scallops served with rosemary-tinged grits. The 100-bottle-strong wine list similarly blends global flavors by featuring two Virginia wines as well as French selections.
With its industrial beams and minimalist fixtures, the dining space and sidewalk patio also sport a modern bent, although the tables’ red roses evoke traditional European romance. Booths and black armchair-like seats surround the dining room’s patchwork rug, a grid of terracotta-red, black, and grey squares perfect for a post-modern game of checkers.