The Little Gem Restaurant

4.5
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364 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 - Walkins are always Welcome.
We look forward to serving you!

Gift cards, Buy Now & Dine In Later, are available. Please either call in at (708) 613-5491 email us at info@thelittlegemcafe.com.

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What 364 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RH
RayH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience2

This is our third time at this restaurant. We were there a couple of times shortly after it had changed ownership (previously was Marion Street Grill) then not for a couple of years. Our first experience was good; food was good, server was quirky but attentive, ambiance was okay though I preferred the decor of the previous establishment. It had always been a very warm inviting room but new owner had chosen a cooler pastel color palette that didn't go well with the exposed brick and copper ceiling. Our second trip there was not as good; food wasn't as good, same quirky waiter with all the same patter. Hence the reason we hadn't been there for a couple of years. But we were out to celebrate a birthday and were looking for a change from our usual Oak Park spots. First, we had made reservations but were seated right next to the hostess station with a little separator partition. The table was 2 two-tops pushed together, which would have been okay except one table was a good half-inch shorter than the other. What made it worse is that the music for the restaurant is supplied from a boom box sitting by the hostess station. The volume might be fine across the room but sitting right next to it it was way too loud. We had to ask twice for them to turn it down. And again, we had made reservations and at the time we booked the restaurant was wide open. This particular location should be left for walk-ins. Then the waitress was pretty inattentive, and the staff overall just seemed kind of badly trained. The bus boy kept serving the wrong plates to the wrong people. They had given us 3 setups for a table of four and it took 45 minutes before they corrected that. I ordered a martini and it sat warming at the bar for a good 110 minutes before my wife walked over and got it. The stemware is industrial grade. Just so many details they got wrong at this price point it should be better. The food was very good but the overall experience was not satisfactory.

A
Alice
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

LOVE the risotto (veggie and seafood!) and the fig/brie appetizer was also excellent. This was my third time here. I will surely be a repeat customer and recommend to all my friends.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience2

It took us over 2 hours to have lunch. I finally had to walk up to the bar to ask for the check so we could leave. And to top it all off, we were there celebrating my birthday, and though I had very specifically stated that I was medically gluten free, my food arrived with two pieces of today plopped on top. They remade it for me, but by the time I got my food most of the rest at the table was finished eating. And then, they didn’t even offer to give a discount for messing that up. I won’t be going back.

LK
LisK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Overall the dining experience was fine, not great, not bad. Drinks were OK, appetizers were OK, dinner was OK. We were expecting a lot more and really wanted to like everything but it was not rave worthy. Server was rushing us through every part of our meal. Fig & Brie app was very average and could use a bit of work for the price.

AD
vipAndyD
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of our favorite restaurants. The service is terrific, the food is wonderful (we love the calamari) and the ambiance is lovely. Music plays softly in the background and isn't overwhelming. What a magnificent "little gem" in the suburbs.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentine’s Day

OB
OskarB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for a martini in the bar or a dinner with a date. Great little gem....

g
gailpj
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Our reservation was honored and we were seated immediately. I chose this restaurant for candlelight dinner. There was a candle on our table, but the vibe was not romantic; it was loud with laughter and conversation. Our table was intimately placed and l enjoyed our seating
The onion soup received rave reviews, and we both ordered it. It did not disappoint, it was delicious and l would definitely order that again. My husband had New York Strip Steak cooked to perfection. On the night we were there Prime Rib was the special. I ordered that and it was the best that l’d ever eaten.
Wait staff was courteous, friendly and attentive.
I would recommend The Little Gem to friends and I already have.
The owner even stopped by our table to check on us and helped us by snapping our picture

SL
StacyL
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Lovely ambiance. Great place to spend time and catch up with friends.

A
vipApache
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience3

We arrived at 8:40 PM and were promptly told the kitchen had closed at 8:30. Bear in mind the posted hours are 11:00 AM - 9:30 PM. We were handed negus and asked to make a dinner selection immediately. Food was OK but service was rushed entire time as staff wished to close establishment early to go home. Granted, it was a slow night but not the way to treat repeat customers who honored a reservation and arrived during posted hours. Doubt I’ll return.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful surprise! Excellent food and an ambiance that is rare in most restaurants! Friendly, accommodating and attentive staff make the name a perfect description!

ME
vipMichaelE
Pittsburgh
160 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great option for brunch.

T
Tracey1
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Hard to recommend to anyone. Right as we walked in we were told that we would need to finish our dinner so they can seat the reservation after us. We hadn't even been seated yet! In all my years of dining, I have never been greeted that way. Especially since our reservation noted it was our first time there. First and ONLY. I don't like going to restaurants to spend money to be treated that way.

ME
vipMichaelE
Pittsburgh
160 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this "gem" of a restaurant in Oak Park. The dinner date for two is a great promotion on Mondays and Wednesdays.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic night with live music. Music was fun but too loud.

HC
vipHeatherC
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Intimate spot with charming decor, great food and wonderful service. Can’t wait to go back again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

wonderful!

Report
BA
vipBobandArdyth
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Try the Little Gem Omelette. It's the best I've ever had.

RL
RoseL
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is always great, servers excellent, and the Gem Cosmo is a gem!

ES
vipElizabethS
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Food was average and acoustics not so good.

O
vipOakparkbob
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

My wife, daughter & I ate here on a Saturday evening. We made a reservation. My wife had the stuffed pork chop, my daughter had the gluten free half chicken & I had the chicken paprikash. Everything was excellent! It is a little pricey but worth it.

WS
WST18
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Three of us dined for lunch. All of us from out of town. Enjoyable experience.

c
clifft13
Detroit
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I thought the food was good but not outstanding, the service was okay, and the value for money was okay.

JH
vipJonathanH
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were looking for a nice restaurant for New Year’s Eve and this place was perfect! Great food nice atmosphere and they even gave us a half glass of champagne!

l
loveinc3
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I really love this restaurant. However, on this occasion it was a little too loud. One party in particular seemed to be having a little too much fun and there was an especially loud woman in the party. Other than that, the experience was great as usual.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience1

The music was concert-volume, making it difficult to talk to each other. The food was good.

SK
SteveK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our 4th or 5th time at the LIttle Gem and it just gets better & better. Food & service were outstanding and it has become our favorite restaurant in Oak Park. We just relocated to a new apartment building and are now a 5-minute walk away. We'll be back often!

j
jackandjill
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was superb! Nice atmosphere. We will definitely go to The Little Gem again!

j
jmoney
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was actually Impress with everything, the place was nice and cozy. The food was awesome they start us of with garlic bread which I would say was awesome I couldn't stop eating it, then we had the calamari for appetizer, which is also awesome it was fresh, and for my entree I end up with the Lamb Chops. The lamb chops was cut medallion style, I ask the server she said "she thinks it comes in four", but it came with two. The way they marinate the lamb chops is good even the vegetables that came with it was awesome, i just wish for that they would add a little bit more meat, but our overall experience with the restaurant was excellent. It is actually a good place for date night.

C
Coco
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had brunch. Food was excellent. Server was a lovely young man who did a great job. The only down side was the decaf coffee was extremely weak. They brewed a new pot for us which was a little stronger. Points for effort though. Will go again.

MR
MichaelR
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovely evening celebrating girlfriend’s birthday. Cozy, inviting, atmosphere, excellent food, amiable staff.

RT
vipRandallT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and drinks were great, loved the classic vibe, and this is one place where you can have a conversation and be heard without a bunch of background noise or bad music. Will be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Wonderful dinner. Quality of the meal always great!

J
vipJudy
Chicago
33 reviews