As it happens, there are lots of rules to eating in B.E.D., which stands for Beverage Entertainment Dining. Don’t be fooled by the comfy beds where patrons eat, dance and canoodle; this is no place to sleep, or even yawn. B.E.D. has been a hot destination for years and shows no sign of letting up -- a remakable feat in South Beach, where the buzz of some clubs can be measured in milleseconds. The late night menu, music and sexy bedroom ambience help explain B.E.D.'s enduring appeal. Mondays the first few lucky ladies (over 21) to arrive dine free during the Secret Society party, with Mr. Mauricio playing sensuous R&B. DJ Erok plays vintage funk, R&B and soul on Fridays. On Saturdays, French Riviera DJ Michel delights diners with happy house and DJ Surge takes over after 10 p.m. with hip hop and R&B during the Pillow talk party.
Sometimes this job requires great sacrifice.
The task: Review B.E.D, a totally hip restaurant on Washington Avenue in South Beach where luscious, expensive meals with sexy names are served, not on tables but, well, on king-size beds.
What's a single girl to do with such an assignment? Find a date.
It takes weeks, months really, to find a suitable candidate with an adventurous soul and a sense of humor, then get up the nerve to pose the question (in an e-mail): ``Want to go to Bed with me this weekend?''
His answer: ``Do I come naked?''
Not a chance.
''Dress is business casual -- and trendy,'' the girl taking reservations instructs before she's even asked. And on that subject: Ladies, better wear pants or a flowing long skirt or prepare to do contortions.
As it happens, there are lots of rules to eating in B.E.D., which stands for Beverage Entertainment Dining. After midnight, B.E.D. turns into a nightclub where people shimmy on the beds as well as the dance floor.
Besides the dress code, there's a strict must-have, same-day reservation policy and a grace period of 15 minutes. Come a minute later and you lose your bed. Getting in and out of bed is a carefully timed choreography. Your assigned bed -- dressed in off-white linens that aren't changed between customers (this is not as bad as it sounds, at least not if you're among the first customers as we were this Saturday night) -- is on a lease of sorts, yours for two hours, during which you are encouraged to consume, consume, consume.
Thankfully, it's all fabulous -- fun and food.
Before we hop in bed with three other diners already there, we're told to take off our shoes. I'm really glad I got that expensive European pedicure. Black clothes. Red toe nails. Soft candle light. Doesn't get sexier than this. I lean back on the pillows. My date, let's call him Mr. Cafecito, sits Indian-style in front of me.
We order Absolut martinis ($9). There's nothing fancy about them, and they come with too many fat, salty olives on a stick.
Mr. Cafecito starts massaging my feet. I already like this restaurant.
Then, we eat. Starting with the foreplay, I mean the appetizers, executive chef Vitor Casassola delivers creative nouvelle cuisine, appropriately splashed with a Caribbean flair on this Latin-themed night when a band blasts salsa tunes.
The rice paper-wrapped crab cake ($14) is simply a beautiful mound surrounded by oodles of delicate carrot swirls. The delicate beef carpaccio ($15) comes in a generous serving, touched with white truffle oil and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Mr. Cafecito loves the food but seems a little restless. The guy sitting on the other side of our bed curtain is inadvertently touching his butt, he explains. Lucky for him, our neighbors, an animated bunch in a packed bed, move around quite a bit. Now the guy is touching mine. I slide open the curtain between us.
''If you're going to touch my butt, I want to at least see what you look like,'' I say.
He laughs nervously, says something in what I think is Italian. Everyone laughs. I smile and close the curtain. We need to be nice to our tourists.
I surrender to the entrees brought to us in oversize plates flanked by sturdy round trays.
The lobster Santos ($40) is hardly saintly in its sexy Caribbean presentation with baked pineapple, celery and tomatoes and coconut cashew ginger sauce. The meat is tender and flavorful.
The rack of Australian lamb ($39) seduced me with its accompanying blue corn grits and sautéed wild mushrooms in a cognac-thyme reduction, but the meat, although plentiful for one, wasn't flavorful and juicy enough on its own.
All five of us in this bed are now squirming a bit. We're achy from being in a sitting position, and after our plates are carted away, we stretch our limbs.
We need to sweeten the deal, and the list of desserts is nothing short of seductive. I want to experience the ''ménage á trois'' ($14), but that turns out to be ice cream in three flavors: cashew fruit banana, cinnamon apple and mango coconut.
Being a hopeless romantic, I instead order the ''cloud nine'' ($14), a fluffy dulce de leche souffle that's enough to feed several people and almost as good as sex. Mr. Cafecito goes for the ''coco loco'' ($14), a gorgeous coconut mousse served on a chocolate half shell and decorated with caramelized bananas. It doesn't quite live up to the looks in taste. Given a second chance, he would have gone for the ''go deep'' ($14), a cappuccino crme brlée.
Our own bed partners are slightly ahead of us on the eating schedule, so they leave first. Finally, we're all alone in this really big bed. Mr. Cafecito joins me on the pillows and lights a cigarette. We order another martini. I'm either developing a major tolerance for booze or this one is quite watery.
And wait, can't get too comfortable on those cushions. The sweet, suave waiter, who has been encouraging the consumption of lots of beverage and food, comes right out and tells us ever so apologetically that it's time to go.
We gulp the end of our drinks and plunge into our post-bed analysis. Surely, eating in bed is not all that it's cracked up to be. But dining at B.E.D. is quite an experience. It's a great date restaurant if you've got money, a sense of humor -- and flexible joints.
As for my date, he seemed ecstatic. His morning-after reaction: ``Now I can say I went to bed with a woman yesterday, and I was casual and trendy.''