I was going to make a lavish dinner for a friend, but need to scale back as I had a financial set back. He loves Italian food. He lives in Mexico so no Mexican food. I don't want to make pasta as I have made that the last two times I have cooked for him. The same applies for roasted chicken. I want to knock his socks (and other items of clothing). I'd like to do 3-4 courses.
It is going to be somewhat warm on the evening I am cooking for him. I don't want to spend more than $50 for the whole dinner not including wine. I live in Northern California, I don't have a grill and I have a countertop halogen oven as an oven.