Better Than Sex, a dessert-and-wine-only restaurant owned by Len Johnson, is located within a short walk off Duval Street’s upper end in Key West. The idea of an eatery dedicated to consumption of sweets and wine in a romantic atmosphere piques my interest, and I convince my husband to try it on a recent Florida Keys getaway. We doubt it can live up to its name, but we’re eager to give it a chance.
Warned by the manager at our guesthouse that this new restaurant is very popular and often packed after 7:30, we arrive at opening on Sunday and hope for the best. We are fine. Only three other couples are there. It’s private, and, in my opinion, very relaxing.
Luxurious red satin curtains separate the dining area into cozy halves and champagne-colored satin with nostalgic wedding photos line the walls. Our friendly hostess leads us through the dark, candlelit room to a table for two. She introduces the menu and explains that the self-taught chef, Dani, creates all items daily with the exception of ice cream–which is shipped from France.
She then hands me a mini-flashlight to help read the wine menu. Since it’s early yet and we’re next to a window, the flashlight is a cute touch but unnecessary. My husband inquires about the chocolate-dipped wine glasses he’s heard me raving about, and we learn the glass can be rimmed with milk chocolate, white chocolate, or dark chocolate. They all sound delicious to me, but she suggests we order milk chocolate since we’re both having red wine.
As we wait for our drinks, we giggle as we explore the Suggested Sex Games book at our table. It’s there, why not? Quirky pre-WWII era music filters through hidden speakers. I had imagined jazz or classical tunes playing in the background when I’d envisioned this restaurant, so this selection is a surprise. But the book is fun and I’m getting a kick out of talking with my husband about something other than dentist bills, our kids, or the need for a new refrigerator. You know what I mean. We get consumed by the daily concerns and forget to focus on each other.
I find myself more playful with him, and everything becomes a double entendre, encouraged by the dessert names on our menu. He decides on “Cookie Nookie Pie” while I consider “Between My Red Velvet Sheets” cheesecake and “Tongue Bath Truffle.”
Our wine arrives and I have to admit, that first lick of sweet milk chocolate with a smooth Merlot chaser almost undoes me. It may not be better than sex, but that first taste rivals it. I enjoy watching my husband consume his drink, both of us flirting with each other as we haven’t done in years–and certainly not in public. The hostess breezes by to check on us and makes a suggestive remark about our finesse with the chocolate. It all adds to the sexy ambiance. Soon, we’ve licked and sipped our way to the bottom of our glasses.
My truffle and sorbet dessert is delicious. We share with each other, adding to our intimacy. His selection tastes even more decadent than mine. Leisurely, we nibble away at our plates until our sweet-tooth is satiated.
The sugar rush ensues as we stroll hand-in-hand down Duval Street a while later, wide awake and ready to enjoy the rest of our evening. I joke about one of the suggested games we’d discovered between the pages of the well-worn book at the restaurant. My husband’s eyes light up. I think Better Than Sex Restaurant is onto something.
What foods and environments do you find romantic?