It's the Roman Empire revived in the Big Apple, if some new restaurants are any indication. The latest trend is eateries that offer beds instead of tables and chairs, giving New York residents the chance to do as the Romans did and indulge in a meal out while reclining.

One restaurant is open, and there will be more in the next few weeks, affording yet another showcase for those in this fickle city who specialize in sampling the next new thing.

As anyone who has tried it at home can attest, eating in bed has less to do with servants hand-feeding grapes than simply trying not to spill anything. Attempting the same in public can seem bizarre or awkward, especially if sharing a bed with strangers is involved.

"It looks like a drastically different experience," said David, 30, a doctoral student, while eyeing one of three king-size beds at Highline in New York's Meatpacking District. "For a date it could be very good or very presumptuous."

Owners and managers of these restaurants -- which also include B.E.D. and Duvet -- are betting patrons will return once they realize how easily inhibitions are lowered, how luxurious the beds are and how good the food is.