The Little Gem Restaurant
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.
I love this place. Very quaint. Great brunch options. And the cocktail list is creative. Try the citrus basil Manhattan.
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.
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.
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!
First time visiting with my friend. Nice cozy setting and decent food. Good place for a date.
Food and service superb as always. Wine list short, but offerings excellent.
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.
A lovely spot with a warm and inviting atmosphere.
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.
Nice little restaurant in Oak Park. Good food. Good service.
All good, date night option was very nice...
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.
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.
Delicious food, fabulous service, great value for date night specials. Very loud but I love a busy restaurant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excellent food and service. Live music was too loud, sort of a solo karaoke performance.
As usual all was amazing
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!
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.
Excellent place! I look forward to returning. What a great day.
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.
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
Charming, but noise level made it hard to have a conversation.
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.
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!
Service and atmosphere were both excellent. Food was great. We would happily return.
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!
Combined birthday and anniversary celebration and this is the perfect place to celebrate! It's warm and almost cozy, with great service and excellent food. We loved it so much we're taking friends there next week!
I decided to go to this specific restaurant after reading the menu and it being posted that there are” vegan dishes” to please” ask server” which is what I did ...only to be told “I could have the salad without cheese”.
I had the hummus appetizer for dinner and left extremely hungry will not be going back.
Whether or not I'd recommend it: it depends. The night we were there, two violinists were playing. Sometimes it was lovely, and sometimes it was so loud I could not hear anyone speaking. This has always been a problem. The decor is brick walls, glass and wood - all hard surfaces. Twice in the past my group of friends went for a meal and left, saying we would not come back because we could not hear each other across the table, but we tried it again - with the same results. Also in the past the service has been slow. This time (with my husband), we waited 7 minutes until anyone came to our table to ask if we wanted to order a drink. That is too long. When our cesar salad was delivered, the young man left quickly and did not ask if we would like fresh pepper on it. We had to wait and flag down the waitress and ask her. Then, when the food arrived, I asked for salt and pepper shakers. They don't have them, as such. The young man brought us a small salt shaker and he brought the large pepper grinder (used table-side for salads) to give us a bit of pepper. The restaurant does not keep sets of salt and pepper shakers for patrons. Overall, the food was very good. It is a lovely little restaurant, and we had a nice time. Again - the only issues are hit and miss -- the service and the level of noise you encounter. If you ever go during nice weather and choose to sit on a small table outside on the front sidewalk, make sure you are not in a rush. The service was non-existent for us last year when we did that.
Delicious food. Great service. Friendly waitstaff. Will definitely return.
Unfortunately there was a large party at Gem the night we were there. Very, very loud. Nothing to muffle the noise.
We didn't let it spoil our evening.
Great food and service
Second time we've been there in the past 3 months and the service was terrible both times. Over an hour and twenty minute wait for our food, NOBODY came to check on us, offer a drink, explain what was going on. I had to wave over our waitress to get information. Finally the meal, which was good, at which time we were offered a free dessert. 2 choices. Never given a menu to see what we wanted. Table next to us got a menu and had several choices. Seems like there is no manager, leader there to take care of business. Utter chaos. Won't be back.