Charcoal Oven

Charcoal Oven Restaurant
4400 Golf Road
Skokie, IL 60076
847 675-8062

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 5:00 - 9:00 PM
Friday & Saturday: 5:00 - 10:00 PM
We will be closed 9/21 for a private party



Gilbert Z.
Winnetka, IL

When we were looking for a site for a graduation celebration I thought of the Charcoal Oven even though I haven't been there for over 15 years and couldn't remember my last experience. It is still exactly the same 1950's supper club ambiance that I remember. You wouldn't be surprised to see Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart sitting in one of the black booths.

There were seven people in our party, including a nine year old girl. We were seated promptly and sat for a while looking over the handwritten menu. Since our nine year old was very hungry, I asked for some bread. Instead we received a plate of beniegts, savory brushed with butter, rolls from heaven (these are bread, not the powdered sugar New Orleans version). These quickly disappeared as we made our selections from the menu.

A word of caution .... not all the items on the menu are available nor are all the items available on the menu. Instead there is a great selection of entrees which turn out to be a mix of menu items and specials. Even though a few of a party chose entrees that were not on hand, they had no trouble deciding on an alternate choice.

Dinners include the homemade beniegts, soup, salad and, of course, the entrée. Our party's main courses included fat, meaty soft shell crabs, tasty, pan fried Walleye Pike, perfectly done rack of lamb, a very large rib eye steak, steel head salmon and fall off the bone baby back ribs. Platters of home made potato chips (more like home fries) and asparagus, served family style, accompanied the entrées. Without exception, everyone in our party was extremely satisfied with their dinner. The nine year old summed it up ... "I feel like I'm on an airplane ... in first class".

It's no wonder the Charcoal Oven has been around for over sixty years. The service was great, the ambiance funky, and the food over the top. As you leave you get a small bag of homegrown tomatoes or home made bread. ... you can be sure we will be back soon.

Doug B.
Chicago, IL

I've only been visiting for the past two years but every visit has been a good one. If you are looking for a loud eatery.... go to Chili's.; If you are looking for cozy and personal, the Charcoal Oven is worth a visit.

This restaurant has been in the family for decades and now that the original owner Phil is retired, his daughter and son-in-law are carrying on the supper club tradition.

The steaks, fish, RIBS and chicken are all excellent and the sides of asparagus and fresh made chips, oh, and the bread, a great meal every time.

The ambiance is old time and the bar is certainly an example of days gone by. Go early and have a drink or two before sitting down in the dining room. Take your parents, they will LOVE this place.

As the place has been updated it has taken on a fresh feel but Rich and Maria have worked hard to keep the flavor of the past alive.

I enjoy it so much that last year (08) I took my departments there for a holiday luncheon. Rich and Maria opened up for our private party, Chef Jimmy did a great job and everyone had a wonderful time. We're going back again this year!

Last thought, take a look at other reviews by those who either love or dislike the Charcoal Oven. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground in these reviews and I suggest you go with the 4 and 5 stars.

Shaun S.
Glenview, IL

On my fourth date with Tracy we drove past the Charcoal Oven, I loved the sign and the old school look, not knowing what was inside. A few jokes were exchanged in the car, but I was curious.. I kept mum as I didn't know the area. That was three or four months ago, I'm now firmly planted in her life so I took her there before we went on vacation to San Diego where I'd meet her family for the first time. Great supper club feel, the flickering lights, the fun couple running the show and did I mention the rolls...damn good!? The hand-written menus, and generous servings. Very nice escape, good food and not having to deal with a snotty teenage/ 20-something waitress... priceless! We even received two homegrown tomatoes....instead of dinner mints. Nice touch.

Johnnie G.
Chicago, IL

Okay, so me and some friends were driving by this place on Golf Road. It looked like a small house with the old neon lights that said "luncheons" "cocktails". My friend David said, "Ya' know I've been driving by this place for twenty years and have never stopped in. So after a drive into Evanston for a quick haircut appointment and a cocktail, we mobile googled it and read some reviews.

Four of us walk in on a Friday night near 10 pm. We were greeted by Phil and his wife, who are the owners. David says to her, "I've been driving by this place for twenty years and finally decided to stop in." This woman in her near 70's states, "If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that...I'd be rich and I could finally close this place!"

Friggin' funny. So she sat us down at a table in the middle of the restaurant.

Decor...not so much. Cool half rounded booths with tuft black leather. I think the music was on a radio station that was playing something from the seventies. Then our waitress, Sonia walks up. She is about in her 60's, and come to find out, she has been there for thirty-two years and she even makes all the dressings and the soups every day! Impressive.

We order some classic cocktails like martini's and manhattans. I must say, they were pretty good. They're a Greek restaurant, but the food on the menu ranged from Rack of Lamb to BBQ Ribs to Veal Parmesan and lots of steaks and seafood in between. Ask Sonia what is good. She won't be afraid to turn her nose up at something and then say, "Try the Dover Sole. You won't regret it."

The prices, I thought were great. Dinners ranged from about $12 to $30, but the $30 meal is rack of lamb. All dinners include salad and homemade soup, too. So that is like only paying $20 for the lamb! This is my new favorite place. Sonia had made lentil soup that day. Awesome! And when you order the salad, get the bleu cheese dressing. There is a pound of bleu cheese in every helping.

Phil even came up and told us that he had a tray of ribs just coming out of the oven. And their daughter, who helps out with everything, even became a good friend by the end of the night.

After a few hours, two cocktails each and two bottles of wine, not to mention four full meals. The tab was about $180. Not bad! Check it out. It is definitely worth it if you like kitsch and good food at a reasonable price.

Becky F.
San Francisco, CA

My boyfriend and I have been driving past the Charcoal Oven on the way to/from O'Hare for two years now and, because it looks so inviting, have wanted to stop in every single time. We finally had the opportunity to do so last week with a friend of ours.

This place is absolutely perfect. The decor is exactly as we expected: comfy-chic 50s feel. Even the cocktails were straight from a 1950's swanky cocktail lounge. The food was even better than we'd imagined it would be (and we are both die-hard afficianados of good meat). The most delightful thing was that each of the entrees came with homemade soup, salad with home made dressing, hot bread, steamed vegetables, and to-die-for home made, hot potato chips! Have I mentioned that the most expensive entree was $30 (for a huge and delicious rib eye), and entrees started at $14 (for the chicken)?

The service was fabulous. First, the waitress (and co-owner) recommended that my friend and I (both about 5'2" and 100 pounds) split the rack of lamb, which was actually the perfect amount of food. When have you EVER had a waitress/restaurant owner not try to upsell you when making a recommendation? Then, she and her husband spent 15 minutes chatting with us at the end of our meal. They were delightful to talk with.

This restaurant definitely lived up to two years of anticipation. We HIGHLY recommend it to everyone

Jeanette H.
Studio City, CA

My family has been going to this restaurant since before I was born. The owner, Phil, went to high school with my grandparents. The food is really excellent - great lamb chops, steaks, athenian chicken, pastitio, scampi, greek salad. Everything is very fresh. When they have ribs they are the best! Great cocktails too - make sure you ask Sonia to make you a Brandy Ice for dessert. It will change your life!

mary b.
Cook, IL

We love this place. This is a classy supper club with atmosphere that has been in business over 50 years, Greek family-owned and now being charmingly run by a Maria (a daughter of the owner) and husband Rich. We love the lighting, music, retro booths, and stellar service. Best of all we love the food - always fresh and cooked to perfection. Your meal comes with piping hot, fresh-baked rolls, homemade soup, salad in a chilled pewter bowl, a generous entree, and vegetables and homemade potato crisps served family style. There is so much food (and in trying to watch our weight :) ) we usually skip the rolls and soup to save room for our favorites: house salad with balsamic vinaigrette and blue cheese crumbles, and some of the best fresh fish in town. Chef Jimmy's preparation of the walleye and skate are really tasty, with a bit of garlic, oregano and other spices mixed with a very light panko crust. If you are in the mood for ribs, these are the best. They have a full bar and retro cocktails, as well as a nice collection of house and by the bottle wines. Desserts we recommend are the apple pie and rice pudding. For a nice evening, we recommend this place to all our friends. It is certainly the best place in Skokie that we know of.

Steaks, Chops, Ribs, Chicken, Fresh Seafood Daily, in an intimate, romantic supper club venue, featuring family owner/operated quality service.

Established in 1949

From 20's gin mill to 40's Northwestern haunt, The Charcoal Oven Restaurant has withstood the test of time and proliferation of sometimes impersonal franchise/chain operations. "The C. O." provides fine memories and simply great food. One of the best romantic supper clubs on the north shore, this 60-year-old family-owned restaurant features fresh flowers, and white linen table-service. Founded by Phillip Georgouses, The Charcoal Oven continues to deliver on its tradition under his accomplished daughter Maria and husband Rich. The full bar harkens back to days when fashionable cocktails preceded great dining. Diners often receive a complimentary loaf of fresh-baked bread or fresh vegetables. A great venue for a private party, a romantic occasion, or to have a steak at the bar and enjoy a baseball or football game. The elegant dining room is intimate, welcoming, laid-back, and will prompt you to be a regular. Recent renovations/updates serve the Charcoal Oven tradition faithfully.

© 2012 Charcoal Oven