A follow-up on my previous query, and thank you all for your creative, all very helpful, responses.
Gauging from what I know of his tastes, a steak with a more interesting preparation is probably what I'll do. Much as I love the phyllo and salmon ideas, I know he wants steak.
He also loves garlic, though we don't want to eat a lot b/c we need to stay awake as it will be a looooong enjoyable night ahead!!!!!
Also, much more comfortable with a saute pan, as I can control things at whim, rather than the oven. Can I do the strip steaks solely on the burner in a saute pan?
Very frustrated I cannot cheat and buy a sauce from a restaurant as he'll be with me 100% of the time.... Will either do the bacon-wrapped filet stuffed with blue cheese or strip steaks (my favorite) with a great cognac sauce... and in dire need of that perfect, fool-proof recipe!
Then, just a simple salad with whatever looks fresh at the market, maybe field greens, beets (from Whole Foods' deli already cooked), toasted walnuts (love that aroma), and a nice vinaigrette I'll make (which vinegar would be best?); some cheese, ample wine, and fruit for dessert, if we make it there.
Any other ideas to make it more interesting? Must be able to shop for in one market and be super-quick to prepare! We often forego dinner altogether as we'd rather just be together.... So this time is special.