You notice the ceiling first, before the array of sculptures, photos and paintings covering the walls and ledges. Balls of tin foil affixed in 1-3-5-3-1 formation to the ceiling tiles. Let your eye travel down to the colander lights, the strength of the metal offset by the jiggly crystals lining the circumference. Expand your view and take in the oilcloth covered tables and booth surfaces, a happy jumble of patterns and colors. Raise your gaze up and take in the walls. The soft, buttery-colored surface is purposefully decorated with black and white photographs, flea market paint-by-number paintings, circus posters, plates and original designs.
On the restaurant’s ledges and hanging from the ceiling rest a dozen metal sculptures designed by the regionally famous Ritch Branstrom. Branstrom is known for his sculptures in the Found Object Art style. Lucky Platter boasts several Branstrom fish and birds as well as the whimsical couple above the street-side entrance door. It’s a picnic scene: the man is playing a zither and he is entertaining the woman perched coquettishly on the other side of the picnic’s bounty. The words Lucky Platter are also done in the Branstrom style, every last piece constructed of found, recycled, rescued and gifted scrap metal.
By this time you remember you are hungry and look at the menu. Eric Singer, the owner, describes the kitchen’s output as “funkalicious post-Hippy eclectic world cuisine.” The menus, decorated in a fifty-ish decoupage style, foretell the creativity described therein. The food is delicious, fun and hearty, comfort food with a grown up twist. Breakfast lasts until 2 p.m. and dinner starts at 3 p.m. Kids are welcome here; actually, everyone is welcome here. Lucky Platter is the quintessential Evanstonian restaurant.
Lucky Platter (847-869-4064), located at 514 Main Street in Evanston, is a half a block east of the Chicago-Main Street intersection. Open every day from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Sunday until 8:00 p.m.