We’re not usually ones to brag about schwanky dinners we’ve crashed, but a recent winemaker dinner at Chef Dustin Valette’s Healdsburg restaurant, Valette, featured one of the most expensive cuts of meat we’ve ever laid eyes on.

A few pounds of the top-grade Japanese Kobe beef Valette served in small slices to the attendees cost about as much as a round-trip ticket to Tokyo and caused a few tears when pictures of the perfectly marbled meat appeared on Instagram. Now, if you’re not familiar with Kobe, it’s highly sought-after beef from Wagyu cattle raised exclusively in Hyogo Prefecture sometimes fed on Japanese beer and massaged for hours with sake. We have no idea if the cow we were eating lived the good life, but let’s just say it wasn’t missing any meals. (Point of clarification: The entire cut of beef, which was several pounds, was $3K, not a single serving.)

Why we mention this bit of luxury isn’t to brag (okay, maybe a humble brag). But it’s also reaffirm that every once in a while it’s worth experiencing food that isn’t just sustenance, but sublime — even if its just a perfect peach at the market or a warm croissant from the bakery.

That is what eating is truly about.

More Pix from the dinner (because I know you want to see ’em)

A winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Spring peas and lobster at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Quail and red polenta at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Quail and red polenta at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

A winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

A winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

A winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

A winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Foier gras and red pepepr gelee at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Foier gras and red pepepr gelee at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Dark chocolate dessert at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Dark chocolate dessert at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Duck and 64 degree egg at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat

Duck and 64 degree egg at a winemaker dinner at Valette restaurant in Healdsburg on 5/6/16. Heather Irwin, Press Democrat