Most people dig good wine and food, so the New York Wine and Food Festival seems like a guaranteed winner, with myriad events over the weekend devoted to savoring both things to the max. But the word "festival" is a little more ambiguous, and depending on which event you attend, that last F in NYWFF can sometimes stand for "Fuuuuuckingcrowded!" Last night's kick-off at Chelsea Market was swarming with foodiots and not for the agoraphobic; at times it got so packed that the festive vibe almost turned surly—particularly when a certain someone elbowed that woman's wine glass. (Sorry!)

And yet everyone seemed well-nigh euphoric (the free-flowing bottles of Georges Duboeuf may have had a little something to do with it). And after the first busy hour, the crowd thinned enough to make the scene navigable. The big hit of the night seemed to be The Lobster Place, which had a line out the door for samples of first-rate lobster bisque and fresh shucked oysters. We also found ourselves surprisingly addicted to the green tea black olive pate at the T Salon, an "environmentally sustainable" tea bar and cafe. (Their website is also off the hook.)

There are still tickets available to a lot of interesting and appetizing events throughout the weekend, but if you're going to any of the major tasting events like this, it's best to either get there way early or just come an hour late. Trust us, there's only so much you can eat in three hours anyway, and there's plenty to go around.