The Rhodeside is definitely a one-stop shop for a date -- dinner, drinks, live music and sometimes dancing, depending on how spirited the crowd -- and if you get tired of the band, there are pool tables, darts, foosball and a big-screen TV at the basement-level bar, which looks something like a rec room in someone's parents' basement.
The decor, which includes vibrant murals and original art depicting landmarks around Arlington, tables with tablecloths and a lovely oak bar, almost makes the Rhodeside seem too upscale to be a truly great club venue. Rock bands -- often showcased in the front window or placed downstairs where the acoustics are something like those in your shower -- seem a little out of synch with the surroundings. But Rhodeside's calmness is a real alternative for those who are uncomfortable with the usual smoky club atmosphere.
In addition to a full wine list, the Rhodeside has several beers on tap -- including Fosters, Guinness, Sam Adams and microbrews -- ranging from $2.75 to $4.25. Entrees range from burgers and sandwiches to steak and pasta with prices from $5.95 to about $15. Most notable are the "wraps" -- especially good are the pesto with hot pepper tortilla and Caesar salad, both in the neighborhood of $7.
The service is friendly, and there is plenty of elbow-room for patrons to hold private conversation without bumping into neighbors. In warmer weather, several tables are set up outdoors, which can make for interesting people-watching when it's bustling.
-- Shayla Thiel