The Little Gem Restaurant

4.3
272 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
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 272 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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

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SZ
Cincinnati
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

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

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b
Chicago
36 reviews
Dined on May 12, 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.

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L
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on May 11, 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!

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d
Columbus
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

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GM
1 review
Dined on May 3, 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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BF
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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!

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OT
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

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.

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VV
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

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.

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LS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food. Great service. Friendly waitstaff. Will definitely return.

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P
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

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.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Easter brunch

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food and service

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KE
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 2

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.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Changed our reservation from another restaurant to here and couldn’t be happier!!! The waiter was very attentive. The food was omg awesome. I had the filet mignon my husband had the lamb chops both were very worth the price. Probably worth more! It was our anniversary and we received a free chocolate mousse dessert which was good but not over bearing. Will definitely travel the distance to come back.

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TR
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing little find best meal eaten in a long time. Definatly worth every penny.

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SR
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

2nd time here ... love the ambiance, the gouda-stuffed pork chops and the "new old-fashioneds"
Would highly recommend it!

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MM
Oklahoma City
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great little restaurant with very nice decor and ambiance.

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LL
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We arrived at our reservation time and were seated immediately. There was a quartet performing near the bar area. This was unexpected. It is not a large dining room so the music made comfortable conversation difficult.
Our server was very pleasant but a little slow as he had responsibility for all the tables.
The food was very good.
I would have very much preferred a quieter evening and will ask before making my next reservation there.

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FC
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

Looking for a brunch spot in Oak Park & this place came up. The menu was uninspired, pretty basic food offerings. The bar was mediocre. My order did not come out as requested (I asked for the eggs to be cooked soft and they were not). Worst part was the service, the place is not big and although they did fill up quickly it was way too hard to get any service - order, drink refills, bill.... all took way too long. I'm not too familiar with Oak Park, but there have to be better options than this.

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AG
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly a hidden gem. Our server was very attentive and welcoming. Food was EXCELLENT!

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GT
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and Awesome Service! I will come again.

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JB
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

The acoustics in the restaurant are terrible! I couldn't hear the person sitting across from me speaking. Food and service were good but will not go back because of the acoustics

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DN
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food and drinks were great, service was a bit slow but I'd definitely come back.

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JP
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Aucoustics were such that it was difficult to hear the waiter over the din; although it did quiet down some later. Food very good.

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A
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The seafood risotto is very good. Acoustics make the place very loud.

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R
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was reallu good, asked for the steak medium rare, it came medium well, not happy with that, but the flavor was great.

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S
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Have eaten at this restaurant for dinner. Lunch was not as good. We has to ask that the music be turned down. A glass was taken before the drink finished. We had to ask for more salad dressing as three of us did not find it enough. Disappointed.

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j
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lunch was yummy. The service was great. Sweet little spot.

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J
Chicago
67 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

Nice menu, cozy spot - service was a little slow but food was delicious.

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JC
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was good overall. I was disappointed that the messed our orders up pretty badly with half our table getting the wrong item or pieces of the dish missing or being served to someone else. We all had really simple orders too.

I was also a little frustrated that I was called a few days before to confirm my reservation and I was told I was good to go. Then I was called again a couple days later to confirm with no one knowing that it had been confirmed already. The second person was rather rude when I pointed out that my reservation should have been confirmed already. We were also given a small table for our party of 12 and had to ask for another table to accommodate. Which they provided reluctantly. I would not recommend for a group function or event. I would go somewhere else next time.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 1

We went for the dinner on a Saturday night. After a couple rounds around the block, we could find a sparking spot. We were seated right away by the bar, at the row along the wall. The server showed up to take the drinks order in less than a few minutes. We ordered shrimp scampi and New York strip as the entree, along with French onion for soup. The orders came without any delay and the server was very pleasant through out and gave good recommendations. The entrees were good portion size and tasted good.

It is a single room restaurant and understandably the noise levels would be high but the tables are arranged too close making it extremely difficult to have a conversation. With the kind of charges they have and the fine dining restaurant they are, we expected to have more room and the tables spaced apart farther. Incredibly impressed with the servers managing to serve in such a tight spot (only drop silver twice, while serving at the tables next to us).

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BC
New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

One of my favorites! Local, great ambiance and interesting menu. Daily specials are always a treat. Not pretentious. Everyone can feel treated well here. Always great servers.

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L
New Mexico
7 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very nice, cozy restaurant. We went for Sunday brunch and everyone enjoyed their meal. I went for eggs benedict and my husband had a chicken club. Not rushed at all and we were able to enjoy good conversation.

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MB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Honey Roasted Brussel Sprouts stole the show! They were fantastic!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quaint ambiance, delish food, worth.the money. I recommend the lamb chops.

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DA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was great! Our server was very attentive and charismatic. The drinks and food were delicious. Great vibe and ambiance will definitely make a trip back

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q
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great although it seemed louder than usual.

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OB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

This is one of our favorite restaurants in Oak Park. Good food and many times small ensembles playing music. The last time we were there they were understaffed and the food came in colder than it should be.
We view this as a one-time occurrence and plan to be back and expect the service to be as good as it normally is.

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MT
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The little gem offers a nice variety of food options, from the carnivore to the vegan. It has a nice ambience and is not loud, so you can have a conversation. The nice thing is, there is no televisions and they have live music. We were there on a Sunday and they had a nice jazz duo playing that evening.
There was also a Happy Hour going on, so that was a plus. Overall we had an enjoyable experience and will return.

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