Actually, scratch that. I didn't make a special dinner for him last year. Just this outrageous mess of a cake. I think we went out for barbecue instead. Probably a smart move, given that cake. Yikes.
The year before that, I made a greatest hits menu of Dan's favorite foods: short ribs, chicken liver pate, chocolate-hazelnut cake. It took a lot of cajoling to get that list out of him, something I didn't want to repeat again this year. After asking oh, two...or five times, "Is there anything special you want for your birthday?" and getting no feedback, I gave up and decided to figure it out myself. I live with the guy, I know what he likes.
Namely: chicken thighs.