photo: Courtesy of Nick Flandro
The feathers and sequins are long gone, but you can still get your kicks at this former 1940s dance hall, now a lively Italian restaurant known for its heaping plates, rich sauces and killer martinis. Though you'll have to gather a large group to take advantage of the family-style option, the regular menu's portions can be larger than you would expect. Order the double-cut lamb chops and you (with the help of your date) will find it nearly impossible to clean the plate. Even an order of the more modest penne arrabiata
(pasta with tomato sauce and basil) or a square of spinach lasagna requires a hearty appetite.
The main dining room is large and airy and rarely too loud to disrupt conversation. While the interior decor is indeed Italian, Club Lucky definitely keeps the bells and whistles to a minimum, relying on a black, white and red color scheme, comfortable booths and modest metal light fixtures that produce a dim glow.
After restaurant hours, the bar becomes an all-out cocktail lounge known for its Killer Martini, which arrives garnished with blue cheese or anchovy-stuffed olives and has been voted Chicago's best.
Prices are on par with the hood, with pastas running between about $9 and $18, and entrees topping out near $35 (for those monster double-cut chops). Reservations accepted for parties of six or more.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Sarah Dahnke