The Little Gem Restaurant

4.4
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306 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Romance
This Intimate, Stylish Little Restaurant is Elegant and Romantic with a Warm and Welcoming Atmosphere. A Relaxed Fine Dining Experience.
Casual or Smart - All Feel At Ease.

Reservations are Recommended - Walkin's are always Welcome.
We look forward to serving you!
What 306 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.3
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EC
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We love coming to this restaurant and it continues to be one of our favorites in OP. The wine selection is limited but never disapoints. Not a large menu but what is there is satisfying and always good.

KJ
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 2

Very poor experience - will not be back.

TL
Chicago
47 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

We love the atmosphere. The service is good - even though they have to repeat what they say multiple times and ask you to repeat yourself because they cannot hear you because it is SO LOUD inside. It is a shame. Such a lovely place. We keep giving it "another try." Maybe 5 or 6 times over the last 18 months. No more. With the lovely painted tin ceiling, the lovely brick walls, the wood floor and the glass along one side, there is no place for the sound to be absorbed. A couple chatty tables was hard. Then, the place filled up. Awful. Could not hear - shouting to hear the person across the table from you at times. Even the wait staff said it continues to be an issue. I have been in when they have live music (lovely violins), but, playing regularly (not loudly), made it impossible to have a conversation WHY DOESN'T THE OWNER ADD SOUND ABSORBING TILES OR ART? I have two other friends who now refuse to go back. I'm done. IF they change, I will enjoy it. Hard to relax and enjoy a meal when it is so very loud. Unacceptable. And I really like the place. We spend a lot of money dining out and will not ruin an evening again.

L
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

I enjoyed dinner with my wife. The food was delicious and well made. However, it took them 30 minutes to get our entrees on the table. There were several other tables that arrived after us and ordered after us that received their entrees well before we did. We were given free glasses of wine but it still left a bad taste in our mouths that it took so long to get our meals. Our appetizer came out pretty fast but the entree did not. Unappreciated and we will probably opt not to return because of such.

BO
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Good soup and salad. Pleasant server. Nice atmosphere.

d
Chicago
44 reviews
Dined on 27 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Quaint ,serving oustanding vegetabke quiche, served by exceptionally efficient and welcoming, Bianca. Thankyou !

TM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 26 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

The food was excellent and service very good though the server seemed somewhat inexperienced. May be loud if the restaurant was full. Tables doe two are too close toghter.

KS
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Meals were well prepared with flavor (veggie risotto and seafood risotto). Pleasant server was attentive and responsive to our requests with a smile .

R
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Much needed neighborhood restaurant with excellent menu in Oak Park. The name says it all - a little gem for quiet conversation, easy access, in rain or shine. Service is unobtrusive and professional. Menu creative and delicious with an eye toward healthy food.

ME
Pittsburgh
140 reviews
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I love this place. Very quaint. Great brunch options. And the cocktail list is creative. Try the citrus basil Manhattan.

K
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Took some time for wait staff to come to our table. I had to go find them. Onion soup was superb. Margarita was especially good with orange in it.

D
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on 25 July 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Servers were pleasant but not enough help so a bit slow. Excellent food - appetizers and entrees. We did not have dessert. A little expensive for everyday dining but I would definitely go back. Outdoor seating available.

L
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Sat at the bar yesterday morning for mimosas with a friend! Got there before they opened but due to the extreme heat.. Judith the owner let me in!! She was very friendly and we chatted for a while. Dolly was our bartender and made us feel like we were old friends. Love their food but yesterday we didnt eat...Next time. So glad I moved back to Oak Park .. this is one of my favorites!

B
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 5

First time visiting with my friend. Nice cozy setting and decent food. Good place for a date.

IR
New England
18 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food and service superb as always. Wine list short, but offerings excellent.

M
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on 10 July 2019
Overall 4Food 2Service 4Ambience 5

Food was average. We got the $75 dollar date night menu- 1 appetizer , 2 entrees, 1 bottle wine and 1 dessert.

I got steak which was average at best. My girlfriend got salmon, which she really liked.

OT
Chicago
131 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

A lovely spot with a warm and inviting atmosphere.

OT
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 3Ambience 5

I was expecting more based upon the reviews. I was underwhelmed. The croquet was a boring, the risotto better than expected, the French toast was ok and the burger was as expected. It was all just okay.

GT
Chicago
90 reviews
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Nice little restaurant in Oak Park. Good food. Good service.

AR
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 26 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

All good, date night option was very nice...

r
Chicago
52 reviews
Dined on 25 June 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

We were celebrating a family birthday on a Tuesday night. It is hard to imagine a happier place with a great band, hostess/singer, and wonderful and friendly service. The food was tasty too. This is a great restaurant.

MB
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This was a wonderful treat for us both. We wanted something close to home that was delicious and satisfying. The little gem is just that, a quaint hidden surprise with delectable dishes. The only drawback is there was a larger party that was super loud. Funny when they received their entrees the noise all but stopped. This is a testament to the the wonderful and simple menu items.

CK
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 19 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious food, fabulous service, great value for date night specials. Very loud but I love a busy restaurant.

B
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on 19 June 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

The food was really great. I had the gouda stuffed pork chop with potato and green beans. It had great flavor and was done well. The mac and cheese side was also really good. Other's at the table enjoyed the orecchiette and sausage and the seafood risotto. The brie and honey crustini was fine but I doubt I'd get it again. The service was excellent. Attentive without being intrusive.

My only one complaint would be the noise level. We went on a Thursday at 7:00pm and the restaurant was full. The noise just seems to bounce around and we found ourselves straining to hear or shouting at each other. Just a heads up for anyone going with anyone with hearing difficulties or looking for a quiet spot. Small complaint and I'm not sure there is anything that can be done about it.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Father day

B
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

A little gem of a place! Overall, brunch was delicious and LOVED the $5 Bloody Mary's. There were only 2 waitresses so service was a little on the slow side. The noise level, although the place was NOT packed, was on the high side and hard to hear each other across the table. Better acoustics needed.

ED
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 1Ambience 4

Sat for 20 minutes before anyone greeted us. Had to ask for a salad that was missing twice. Pork chop was dry. Appetizer plates sat on table through dinner. Service was terrible and unapologetic. We were really looking forward to trying it, but won’t go back. Really disappointing.

LQ
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I’ve been to Little Gem before and they never disappoint. Food and service are top notch. Love the ambiance. Will go back there again, for sure.

JR
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 10 June 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Excellent food and service. Live music was too loud, sort of a solo karaoke performance.

JL
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As usual all was amazing

FG
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had such a great overall experience! I have to say that the filet mignon was the best steak I’ve ever had. And they had 1/2 price select glasses and bottles of wine...bonus! This will be our go-to place! The service was perfect - not rushed, timed well, very attentive. It’s very European style service where they give you time between courses to enjoy your food and company, and they don’t hover or rush you out the door. I think other reviewers who said service is slow are looking for a fast-food type experience which this is not. Can’t wait to return with our friends!

B
St. Louis
4 reviews
Dined on 4 June 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

We found this place based on the open table reviews. The ambiance was excellent - there was a Jazz quartet playing the evening we were there. The music certainly added to the ambiance. Also, the place is decorated beautifully, making for a nice dining experience.

In terms of food - all of it was good. Our waiter warned us that because one person on our party ordered chicken, it would take about 25 minutes - and we told him that was fine. My friend said it was worth waiting for. My only complaint: I had the Orecchiette Pasta. It was clear that since my friend’s dish took longer to prepare, mine sat for a few minutes. It certainly wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t hot either. It tasted great, and I was hungry so I didn’t want to send it back.

Overall I would recommend this place to anyone looking for something a little more upscale, but reasonably priced.

C
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent place! I look forward to returning. What a great day.

BK
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on 28 May 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic atmosphere. Brilliant live music. Felt welcome to linger over food and drinks with great friends; much more European feel where this IS the night out. Recommend it highly.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 1Food 3Service 3Ambience 1

Can’t comment on the food or the service or anything else because we left within a few minutes of being seated. It was SO LOUD we could barely hear each other screaming across the table. This is a small neighborhood restaurant where people might go to have a nice dinner and conversation with their dining partners. Loud music and everyone at every table yelling at their table mates to be heard. It was so unpleasant. Really sorry we didn’t get to enjoy the food, but we wanted to talk over dinner and that was literally impossible

SZ
Cincinnati
15 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Charming, but noise level made it hard to have a conversation.

b
Chicago
36 reviews
Dined on 12 May 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

Two of the four dishes that we were served came out either cold or tepid in some places -- it appears that they were waiting for the other dishes. I would go somewhere else next time.

L
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I have never been disappointed at The Little Gem! The food is amazing and the ambiance is wonderful! One of the best restaurants in Oak Park for sure!

d
Columbus
1 review
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Service and atmosphere were both excellent. Food was great. We would happily return.

GM
1 review
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We’ve eaten at Little Gem twice and both meals were easily the best we’ve had in Chicago, period. The food is incredible - fresh and delicious. I can’t say enough great things about this place. Also, HIGHLY recommend doing the Wednesday date night. It’s easily the best deal in town!

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