Better Than Sex


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.

Our dining area--darker than this in real-life

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.

Chocolate and Merlot Heavenly

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.”

Cookie Nookie Pie

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.

Truffle & Sorbet Dessert

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?

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole Basaraba
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 07:12:55

    Sounds and looks like you had a really nice Sunday. Makes me want fly there just for the desert. Looks amazing! I want cookies now.

    I think a restuarant with a nice view, maybe ocean front is romantic.

  2. Gwen Hernandez
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 10:22:32

    Sounds like fun, Jolyse. Your husband’s dessert looked awesome! Like Nicole, I’m a big fan of ocean views. Pretty much anytime I get to have dinner with my husband alone is romantic these days. ;-) Thanks for sharing.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 17, 2011 @ 16:45:06

      Hi Gwen! Thanks for stopping by. Alone-time is rare when we have younger children. I treasure our couple time. We work opposite schedules for our day jobs, and the kids are generally our focus.

      Maybe make a date night once a month?

  3. Catie Rhodes
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 11:34:21

    This sounds neat. I’m an alcohol atheist (or tee-totaller), so when I first read it was a wine restaurant, I sort of wrinkled my nose. However, the atmosphere and the desserts sound very very neat. Cool review. :D

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 17, 2011 @ 17:04:03

      Hi Catie! Oh you can definitely skip the wine and enjoy their array of desserts with coffee or tea. Part of the reason I was excited to have the wine was that I generally drink beer in Key West. :)

  4. Stacy Green
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 11:56:54

    What a cool sounding place! We don’t have many theme-type restaurants around here, and this is one I think would be fun. Plus the desserts…yum!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 17, 2011 @ 17:05:30

      I like my sweets, and I would return to Better Than Sex to try out their Peanut Butter Perversion next time. Did you check out their menu?? It makes my mouth water. Thanks for stopping by, Stacy!

  5. Christine Ashworth
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 12:06:22

    What a wonderful experience, and how much fun did you guys have? I wish there were a restaurant like that around my house…sigh! Oh – was the name of that book “Suggested Sex Games”? Wonder if I can find that at Amazon…lol!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 17, 2011 @ 17:08:31

      You’re too funny, Christine. I actually tried to find the book online so that I could link to it. No luck. I did find an ad for a book called “100 Sex Games” which was recommended by Oprah Winfrey, but that wasn’t the book we read at the restaurant.

      Have I given you ideas?? Enjoy. ;)

  6. Julie Glover
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 15:29:12

    Wow, that dessert looked amazing! They definitely have a unique presentation there as well. Interesting place.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 17, 2011 @ 17:10:41

      I was too enamored by my chocolate-wine experience and my husband’s company that we didn’t take our hostess’ suggestion to check out their downstairs lounge. I wonder…

  7. Patricia Yager Delagrange
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 19:47:22

    That dessert looked like a work of art!! Love to try that. It sounds like you had a super time.
    How cool.
    Patti

  8. Donna Coe-Velleman
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 22:12:09

    Mmmmmm chocolate. Excuse me while I drool those deserts look scrumptious.
    Sounds like a great place to go to but you better get a babysitter beforehand.
    : )

  9. alicamckennajohnson
    Oct 18, 2011 @ 17:17:20

    Sounds likes a wonderful place- if I ever make it to Key West I’ll have to look it up!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 18, 2011 @ 18:05:00

      There are many wonderful restaurants in Key West that don’t take off, and then close within a few years. I believe, with the correct marketing, this restaurant has the location, the quality of product, and the theme to make it. I hope it does, and then it will be there when you have the opportunity to experience the Conch Republic.

  10. Michael Bennett
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 09:21:24

    My wife and I happened upon this place on our honeymoon in 2009. We probably went at least 3 times on that trip, and another 3 on our trip earlier this year. No trip to KW is complete without a stop at BtS.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 19, 2011 @ 20:22:10

      Wow! I had no idea it had been there for so long, Michael. What are your favorite drinks and desserts? Would love your suggestions for our next trip down in May. :) BTW, great to meet a fellow Key West lover here.

  11. Josie Weeks Elliott
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 09:30:35

    This place is amazing! I tried it last year for the first time on our annual trip down, and I will continue to go for a very long time! So happy other people enjoy it as much as I do!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 19, 2011 @ 20:18:12

      Hi Josie,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. What’s your favorite dessert? Did you check out their lounge??

      I’m a Key West afficionado. Great to meet you here. Feel free to check back for your Key West fix at my blog whenever you like. :)

  12. Marcia
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 02:57:04

    It’s so great to hear that you guys had some playtime! The desserts look fabulous and the restaurant sounds like a prelude to intimacy…hand-holding, laughing together, new conversation topic and all the playful ideas it inspired. Awesome!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Oct 20, 2011 @ 16:43:08

      Thanks, Marcia. I like your description. If I were to open my own dessert restaurant, “Prelude to Intimacy” sounds like the perfect name for it. :)

  13. Suma Subramaniam
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 14:35:41

    Ooh! There’s an oomph factor to the truffle dessert. Loved it. Thanks for sharing the post. I’m a vegetarian, and I love spicy vegetarian food.

  14. Dani
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 23:40:43

    Hi Jolyse,

    We just discovered your review…. Thank you very much!!! My husband, Len & I are thrilled to hear you had a wonderful experience. It’s refreshing to see that our guests are able to immerse themselves in the total package we intended!

    We would love to meet you. Please ask to meet Len & I the next time you visit. Len is usually in the front and I am always in the kitchen:)

    Grateful,

    Dani Johnson (BTS baker/owner)

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Dec 07, 2011 @ 20:40:16

      Hi Dani! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. We really enjoyed the entire experience at your dessert restaurant and it was one of the highlights of our recent getaway. I appreciated your attention to the little details and we both were utterly satisfied as a result of our delicious treats.

      I spoke briefly with Len on this past visit, and I look forward to introducing myself to you, an incredible baker!, on our next trip to KW.

      Kindly,
      Jolyse

  15. Trackback: Key West Couplets–The End « JOLYSE BARNETT'S Margarita Moments & Other Escapes
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