I work at the University. Some local favorites include Ginza in Bloomfield for Japanese food and Thai Palace, a few doors down from Ginza in the same strip mall.
If you don't mind driving a couple more minutes than you would to get to West Hartford Center, there's Carmen Anthony Fish House in Avon. Don't let the name fool you - meat entrees are as good as the seafood. They're upscale, with prices to match. you can view their menu here: http://www.carmenanthony.com/avon.html
Max A Mia, also in Avon, is run by the same folks who operate Max's Oyster Bar in West Hartford Center. The focus is on good Italian food, but there's something to please everyone. The atmosphere can be a bit noisy. Here's their menu: http://www.maxrestaurantgroup.com/loc...
All of the above are good suggestions...
Also in West Hartford center that are good are:
Barcelona..Spanish inspired...behind Toy Chest on Farmington Ave
Shish kebab House of Afghanistan on LaSalle Rd
Mediza..Mediterranean on LaSalle
I've been taking my son to Max's Oyster Bar for his birthday for years...it's probably the most fun place for a celebration in the center
IMO, you can't go wrong with Uncledave's and LenaNE's choices with the exception of Mediza. We went there Thursday and it was terrible. Scallops were black on the outside, barely opaque on the inside, with an oily sauce. King salmon special mostly tasted fishy and my tuna was overcooked and in a too sweet sauce. Carpaccio should have been sent back. The one bright spot was the pumpkin bread pudding.
Lots of choices In WH town center. Here's a few to get you started:
Bricco is very good italian.
Max's Oyster Bar for Seafood.
Grants for steaks/chops.
Simmer Grill for eclectic American.
There's some good off-the-beaten path ethnic spots around town, too -- if you're looking for something like that let me know. But I'm guessing that for a birthday you're looking for something a little more upscale.