If you eat only one meal in Cleveland....
I was meeting my parents in Cleveland for the weekend (all of us from out of state), and I needed a good, preferably Hungarian, restaurant to take them for their 39th wedding anniversary. I doubt I could have chosen better. The food was excellent (the breaded mushroom appetizer just like my mom's grandmother used to make), the recorded music authentic, the decor appropriately themed and tasteful, and the service always attentive if somewhat slow (any waiter would refill our coffee and water without waiting to be asked, even though we were not seated in their area). The portions were extemely generous, so don't be afraid to order the "small" plate. Finally, the prices were very reasonable for the quality and quantity. I can't recommend this restaurant highly enough!
Old-World Hungarian food that's not sleepy and slow..
There's lots about this Hungarian landmark that's Old World, but not sleepy or slow-paced. Balaton dishes home-style specialties like chicken livers and dumplings, hearty stuffed cabbage and a cucumber salad that recalls a night in Budapest. But there's a distinctly American bustle to the brass and lace-filled dining room. Look through any window and you're entertained by the shoppers doing the retail hustle on pastoral Shaker Square. Then, get back to business: those thin, breaded cutlets of pork or chicken schnitzel are the draw, but the horseradished sides are just as compelling (Balaton has got the beet.) Real surprise: trendy youngsters find this stuff just as comforting as the ethnic types stealing a little taste of home. That sugar-glazed torte with the chestnut puree doesn't hurt, either. Not far from the University Circle culture, the Shaker Rapid connects this bit of Europe with downtown's Tower City. Come hungry and, rain or shine, get some goulashes.