Permanently Closed - Oak + Char

4.1
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217 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed.

With a menu described as modern Midwestern, Oak + Char in Chicago, IL offers diners an inspiring setting full of repurposed wood. Most of the dishes are cooked with natural methods such as clay pots, tandoor ovens and open fire, and even the specialty cocktails whipped up by the staff will use liquors aged in old oak. A communal table restaurant, diners mingle in this warm and welcoming space.

Menu options for diners at Oak + Char include a bountiful array of starters like the Bacalao wontons or the octopus hushpuppies. Entr�es include meats and seafood as well as a family style tasting menu. There are greens and grains, including a roasted pear salad with goat cheese and pickled lemons. There is also a burger and sandwich menu, but choices include duck kielbasa bahn mi and smoked trout. Clearly, Oak + Char is a must try spot.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, American
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Hours of operation
Brunch:
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Lunch:
Wednesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm
Dinner:
Wednesday - Thursday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(312) 643-2427
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Our private dining room can accommodate up to 24 guests for any type of occasion.
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Cross street
Wells
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Public transit
1 block south of Brown and Purple line Chicago Stop.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine
What 217 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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d
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Overall a good experience. Two issues: My chicken was actually raw, and by the time I was re-served, all had finished their meals. My dinner was reduced by 50% on the bill. Wait staff overburdened and a bit scarce. Outside eating was nice.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2016
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

Unfortunately my chicken entree was raw when served. Sent back and lost my appetite. They were nice and apologetic but for price of food there, I would expect much better showing.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The wings are definitely one of the best things on the menu. We tried both sauces and both were great. Would order that again, especially since our family loves wings.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2016
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 2

Very disappointed by the service. I took clients there for dinner and told the host and server that and it almost seemed like the experience got worse . I was so embarrassed. I will never go back !

BB
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Their A/C can't keep up with the summer heat. Looks like a very nice place. The entire burger was burnt, the buns, the onions, the bacon, and the fries were way over salted. Other than eating burnt food in the sweltering setting, the host was very nice and I would probably go back, though I would avoid the dopey bartender who told me he has no idea why I would feel too hot as sweat was pouring down his forehead.

T
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Oak+Char because my brother raved about it. Our group of 6 loved the experience. We were warmly welcomed and had excellent service all night. The restaurant has a great, creative vibe, especially the draped light fixtures, which lets you know you're in a unique place. The food was outstanding from the wings and chicken & dumplings soup (superb twist on a classic) through creative salads and wonderful entrees. Spectacular "Lucy burger" smothered in caramelized onions and cheddar as well as perfectly cooked fish and stunningly good roast chicken. We had an excellent, reasonably priced French white burgundy. This is not haute cuisine, it is superbly done comfort food with creative updates. Just be sure not to over-order as the portions are very generous. Better to split the salads and entrees and you'll still have food left over. Definitely a "go back."

S
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Wings were very good. Though our server was nice, the service itself was considerably slow.

AK
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2016
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

It took our server more than 10 minutes to even say hello to our table when we were seated, and he did not tell us that the restaurant was out of three different items on their already small menu. So when I tried to order, I ended up getting my fourth choice. Not ideal. The food we did have was good, no complaints on that end.

FR
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

Second time here and so many things have gone wrong? Menu was unrecognizable from our first visit. We had to order everything at the same time we ordered our first cocktails - the waiter insisted! Dessert menu had 6 items on it but when we tried to order informed only 2 remained. Cocktails were once again over done and the food was a big let down. The glass for my cocktail looked “filthy” but the waiter explained it was meant to look like that as part of the drinks design. Lord give me strength! When fish looks and tastes like meat that can't be identified ... (fried skate by the way) Houston we have a problem. We felt rushed from start to finish and will not be going back. What a shame. We had high hopes for this place.

b
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2016
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

The wings msg were good but the steak and fries were below average.

OT
Chicago
133 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Berry provided excellent service!

J
Milwaukee
98 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

On our last few trips to Chicago we've tried to dine here but just couldn't get in - mainly, because we typically make last minute visits to the windy city - we tried the wings - they were good but not great - and so were the entrees - service was friendly but not overly efficient for a relatively quiet lunch crowd. So despite the hype, won't be rushing back...

L
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Fantastic! Portion size is great especially for sharing. So many good things on the menu, I have to go back to try some more! We had trout tartine, shrimp and grits and the pear salad and all were wonderful.
Wish they stayed open a bit later at least on weekends.
Great spot for delicious flavorful food.

PR
Chicago
137 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2016
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Was so disappointed with this restaurant. Staff was not knowledgeable of the menu, the food was not that good, but the price was VERY high for what we got. I won't be returning here - sad, because it's a gorgeous space and has potential

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2016
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

We had very very slow service. There were maybe 5 other parties. Our waitress took a long time to serve us to even get us drinks. Then we ordered food but waited an hour for food. I had to flag down the waitress to ask what's taking so long. My friend did not enjoy her biscuits and gravy meal because her scrambled egg was dry and rubbery. It was not worth the trek over there for me, I wanted to choose a new place while an out of town friend was visiting and I ended that brunch with apologize to my friends for going there. The overall experience was a total disappointment and I won't be returning.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2016
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Second time I've been there. 1st time the server served us the wrong food. 2nd time the server didn't know what came in the dish I asked about and gave me false information instead of checking with the kitchen. Both times our server was slow and neglectful. Will not be back.

TR
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

The food was great and the music/playlist was awesome (70s/Motown) however the service wasn't on par. We had to wait quite a bit of time for simple requests like salt and pepper and refills. That was our only issue with our experience on Sunday.

Highly recommend the MSG wings though!

CJ
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice ambiance. A little pricey and somewhat limited menu choices. Excellent wings and burger.

LG
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

The appetizers were all very good that we tried. The short rib entree was very fatty and almost inedible. Specialty cocktails were great, service was great.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic, ambience was great, service was superb.

JC
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Service could use some attention and the lighting of the restaurant seemed off- too bright for a Friday night dinner spot.

A
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The food was either too salty or had no flavor. I really wanted to like this place but it just didn't quite meet the mark.

OT
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic craft cocktails and delicious menu all the way around. Trendy, comfortable atmosphere.

SB
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2016
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

My family and I had our Saturday brunch at Oak & Char this weekend. The food was great! Our waitress was extremely sweet and helpful.

Overall love it and will be going again!

OT
Chicago
118 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Our waiter service was outstanding, although he should have warned the seafood was exceedingly spicy.

Only other problem is that I received multiple confirmation calls and text messages confirming my reservation, to the point it became an annoyance. I will have to rethink if we want to return as a result.

m
Chicago
63 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Friendly service; my server was on her first day of training, and she was very professional and properly supervised). Loved the Piri-Piri Bloody Mary, but the Nashville Hot was a bid disappointing; it was nicely crunchy, but I was expecting HEAT, which was essentially non-existent!

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Went to here with a group of three others. We had called ahead to say we were celebrating a birthday. When we got there nobody seemed to know or care that we were celebrating a birthday, despite calling an hour prior. We asked our server three times to get the birthday dessert.

All the food we ordered was boring and not very creative. The service was terrible.

The drinks were good and the restaurant is pretty, but I would not recommend it and I will not be back.

L
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything that they pickled in house was superb. The apps were good sized and the drinks were really well done.

KS
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2016
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Went for lunch- super quiet very few customers, service friendly, seating comfortable & ambiance cozy. We recommend the wings and burgers but the fries much too salty and the chicken biscuits dried/overdone & also salty. Would not go back for a meal perhaps just to check out the evening bar scene. We did tell the staff.

OT
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was really not crowded at all for brunch, so we probably didn't need a reservation, but the food was really fantastic. It was all fresh and everyone enjoyed their meals. Our waiter was super nice as well.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Delicious brunch, loved the biscuit

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2016
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 4

I went for Easter brunch and the food was terrible. It was bland and boring.

A
Chicago
177 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Breakfast biscuit is a joke; overdone eggs with scant cheese and a pile of ridiculously overdone, unseasoned/ungarnished potatoes. Smoked trout tartine tasty. Chocolate pie decent. Nice space with creative lighting/decor. The female manager was awesome.

h
Cleveland
33 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We took a group of nine adults for Sunday brunch and had a very enjoyable experience. The food was substantial and delicious; my husband's ricotta pancakes were sublime. Coffee and water were replenished without asking and prices were reasonable. We will definitely go back.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2016
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Beautiful space and decor! Odd menu for lunch. Don't expect to eat anything traditional here. Meals all seem to have a twist to them that my guest and I didn't enjoy.

l
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

We heard good things and it looked amazing w interesting menu! But food was either so salty it was close to inedible or was just "eh". Service was also "eh". Servers who dropped food off w explanations were nice but unintelligible, didn't make sure we had utensils. Main course took 25 minutes after apps to arrive and restaurant wasn't full. So ... Bummer

NG
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Nothing impressed or was memorable . . . staff needs training on customer experience

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, great decor

PI
Chicago
46 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Surprisingly, the service was not that great this time around. Our server was cocky and slow! Good was great, except for the scallops. I don't remember them being the size of a penny before...

RE
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything about this place is great - the food exceptional, service on point, ambience great - except for the chairs which are clumsy and uncomfortable!

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