Doug -- A lot depends on the look you're going for. As has been suggested, the laser engraving may look best on plain wood. This way, the grain won't compete with the engraving and make the engraving difficult to read. One way to deal with that problem is to fill the engraved area with a color that contrasts well with, yet looks good with, the wood. The person who does the engraving may be able to do the color filing for you. If not, Rub 'n Buff and similar products allow you to do it yourself. Then, you could use a nicely figured wood and the grain pattern and engraving wouldn't compete.
Here are two more options:
* Have the engraving outline the letters only. Then, you can go in with a brush and add the desired color with paint. Each letter will be nicely outlined by the engraving.
* Use the a laser engraver to cut stencils out of clear label material. The label material come in 8"x11" sheets and larger sheets. This should allow you to create a single stencil that would have all your lettering aligned for the entire platter -- assuming it's not too dished in the middle. That would make airbrushing fairly easy (if you prefer that look).