It was a sight to warm the hearts of dialysis clinic owners citywide: The massive, football field-size space la.venue at The Waterfront in Chelsea was overrun by 43 of New York's top pastry chefs and confectioners last night for the Food & Wine Festival's most anticipated debauchery. The event sold out before the Wall Street crash, and with tickets going for $175 a pop it's no wonder people queued up well before the doors opened to make sure they got their dwindling dollar's worth.

And considering that nearly 1,800 guests poured into the place, it's remarkable things never got unbearably overcrowded. Personal dessert highlights were Pichet Ong's Date Pudding with Domaine de Canton Caramel Chantilly, Sea Grill's Chocolate Caramel Parfait with Guinness Stout Gelee, and Gramercy Tavern's Pumpkin Cheesecake with Lime Whipped Cream and Spiced Cranberries. To wash it all down, the Evian Mint Mocktail proved a crucial means of hydration to counteract the sugar shakes and the absinthe swooning.

Yeah, nice work if you can get it. But it wasn't all milk and honey; turns out it actually is possible to overindulge on dessert! And after a while one started to feel just a tad crass about the event's extraordinary waste, with each tasting yielding yet another plastic plate for the trash heap. Also, the press release promised "musical stylings from celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson," and oh what stylings they were, featuring a relentless shit parade of insipid top 40 hits from the '80s that finally bottomed out with Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life Again." Astonishingly, Eater deemed the "soundtrack excellent," so maybe it's our fault for leaving before Ronson dropped her hottest Bruce Hornsby tracks?