When two media publications — with some of the hottest and trendiest readers — hookup, you know something good is bound to happen. And last Saturday night, it did. BlackBook and Nerve Dating sent two people — who have never meet in-person before and have only communicated via Nerve’s dating site – out on a date to three venues of our choice. These spots are consistently lauded by BlackBook readers and are popular check-ins on Nerve Dating: Westville for dinner, Sweet Revenge for dessert, and Smalls Jazz Club for late-night grooves. After the date, each wrote their own candid account of how it went.
May we introduce: Mike and Raydene’s first date.
Though I’m still a novice in the world of online dating, I’ve tested out many of the usual suspects: Match, OkCupid, DateMySchool, etc. There are several things that I like about Nerve Dating over these competitors. In fact, I prefer Nerve so much that I have deleted my accounts from these other sites. My favorite part about it? Nerve offers many different ways to strike up a conversation with someone, and see if you have any connection. Rather than randomly “wink” at someone with a cute picture or message someone blindly, you’re bound to find something that spurs an interaction.
Raydene and I both arrived to Westville at exactly the same time – fashionably late. She was all smiles from the first moment and I could tell that this was going to be a fun night. The waitress seated us and we proceeded to chat and joke for about 15-20 minutes, promising our server each time she approached that we would definitely look at our menus immediately. Our server was amazingly patient with us and super friendly. We split the delicious smoky mac and cheese as an appetizer, and for an entree I had the grilled cheese with bacon and tomato on a Portuguese bun (don’t judge). It’s a good thing that Raydene and I were getting along so well by the time the entrees came out because there was definitely no way to eat that thing gracefully.
Raydene was wonderful company throughout dinner and I think we both fed into each other’s goofiness as we made more and more ridiculous jokes and poked fun at just about everything around us. However, in between jokes we did manage to get out a lot of genuine thoughts and stories about our pasts and backgrounds. I, for one, had a lot of fun.
After dinner, we finished our drinks and moved on to our next stop: Sweet Revenge
. This place was the most bumping Saturday night dessert spot I’ve ever seen. We were seated at a nice table for two off to the side and away from the door. It was a perfect vantage point to observe and ponder the never-ending stream of people walking past us and further into the café. (We were convinced there was a clown car somewhere back there.) I’d never heard of Sweet Revenge
, but apparently I was the only one. It’s a very chic and lively cupcake bistro with a unique offering of 8-10 cupcake types, along with suggested beer or wine pairings for each. I enjoyed the insane “Sweet Revenge” cupcake, which was a peanut butter-frosted cupcake with a rich chocolate ganache filling, paired with the suggested Malbec. We giggled our way through our drinks and cupcakes, and pulled Tom, our hysterical server, into our banter whenever it was possible to pull him away from his arguably more important duty of tending to his other 30 customers.
After finishing our drinks and giving up on the last bites of our decadent cupcakes, we decided to continue our night with some live jazz. We headed to Smalls Jazz Club
and scored a table off to the side, where we wound down over a nightcap and some soothing music. Eventually, the yawns won out and we decided to call it a night. It was definitely a fun time. Would I pursue a second date with Miss Raydene?? Definitely!
Nerve Dating and BlackBook helped create one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in NYC since my move here in May 2011. Mike and I met on Nerve Dating, a super hip, well-designed dating site that’s really more of a social space for strangers to interact and meet, you know, before meeting. He "Noticed me" and I thought he sounded pretty great from his "Last Night" updates about food, movies, music, books, random happenings – a seemingly great way to get to know someone, because Mike was totally the guy from his posts: intelligent, open, and hilarious!
Oh right, onto the date. Mike and I had dinner at Westville
in the West Village – a really cute, cozy restaurant serving the most delicious comfort foods. I highly recommend the smoky mac and cheese… with bacon – is your mouth watering?! After cleaning our plates, we wandered a little farther south to Sweet Revenge
for dessert. The experience was amazing – another adorable place, this one filled with happy cupcake-stuffed people. We made a new friend in Tom, our server for the evening, and had great conversation, and too many laughs to count, to accompany our deliciously sweet cupcakes and bubbly champagne. After persuading Tom to take a few pictures with us (which took all of one second — seriously cool guy), we headed up to Smalls Jazz Club
for some amazing jazz in a really unpretentious, packed house with great drink prices.
The evening was really fun — my cheeks hurt from laughing so much. The venues were wonderful for a first date, or a fiftieth date, where we could get to know each other in a simultaneously intimate and casual setting. Mike and I got to enjoy amazing food and drinks at a few clearly well-loved places in the West Village!