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Best of New York Services 2004

Best Offline Dating Service

  • Eight At Eight Dinner Club

    212-785-5888; 8at8.com/nyc

    Online personals are fine, but answer a few dozen and you’re going to start craving quality control. In the business of neither cattle-call parties nor terrifying all-or-nothing blind dates, Eight at Eight specializes in small-scale restaurant dinners forcollege-grad professional singles, most in their twenties or early thirties. After clients answer a series of questions, a computer-assisted yenta matches four women to four men; then a flesh-and-blood hostess introduces everyone over drinks. Melissa, a 28-year-old private eye, was dragged into it by her roommate. “I was nervous, but these are just intelligent, normal people—I went to Tribeca Grill, and discovered that the guy on my left, Sean, had traveled to Hong Kong, like I had. Now we’re dating!” Though president Sarah Kathryn Smith takes credit for 44 marriages (so far), she boasts more about the platonic benefits: "You might be new in town, or want to replenish your pool of single friends.” Those who’d rather scope out the scene first can try her more public events—like the springtime Bark in the Parks, where fluency in things canine puts you on conversational cruise control. (A $250 membership guarantees three dinners, food and drink not included.) No same-sex parties yet, but, says Smith, they're on the way.

From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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Other Best Of Guides

Where can you find the city’s top dog groomer? Last-minute tailor? Beef tongue? We eat, drink, dance, shop, shvitz, and trampoline our way around the city, not to mention poll scores of in-the-know colleagues, hard-partying friends, opinionated family members, and, this year, a team of guest expert bloggers to bring you answers to all of the above questions, and hundreds more, in the form of our annual “Best of New York” issue.

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