In February 2006, my husband, Jeremy, and I opened Lineage Restaurant in Brookline. This was our first restaurant and our first business of any kind. It was a year filled with a lot of decision making and hard work. One thing that we had agreed on was that we would close for Thanksgiving, mostly so that Jeremy could have a (very rare) day off to spend with the kids.
We celebrated in typical fashion that year: We tried to stuff 20 people into our house by setting up folding tables, pulling out any dish we owned (which is five sets of very different patterns) and pulling chairs out of every room of the house. Then it dawned on us: We had a wonderful, empty restaurant! Why not use it? So the next year our Lineage Thanksgiving was born, and for several years now we have enjoyed some truly amazing Thanksgiving dinners not only with our extended families but with dear friends and friends of those friends; with cooks or servers who didn’t have a place to go, sometimes showing up with their family who was visiting from out of town. We invited all who wanted to come and, even with a crowd that sometimes approached 35, we set one long table and everyone sat together. The dishes, glasses and silverware all matched. It was heaven!
These past nine years have been some of the best Thanksgiving dinners that I can remember. Sadly, we decided to close Lineage this past July. Chalk it up to progress, I guess. Jeremy is opening more restaurants with his partners and writing books on the side; I usually have my hands full with our three children and we just can’t do it all. Jeremy, no matter the location, always makes an amazing Thanksgiving dinner and I take care of the desserts. This year, in the spirit of change, I’ve decided on some new additions to the dessert course. It’s hard to mess with tradition so I will probably serve our family favorites of apple or pumpkin chiffon pie but, alongside them, I’ll be serving something a little less traditional. After all, there are some wonderful desserts and fall fruits that are often overlooked at Thanksgiving. I’ve highlighted some of my favorites here and I hope you’ll join me in changing it up a little this year!
Lisa Sewall graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. She then came to Boston and worked at Biba, before going to Nantucket to work at the White Elephant, Summer House, and Wauwinet. She returned to Boston and was the Pastry Chef at L’Espalier (where she met, Jeremy, her husband.) For five years, she lived in Northern California as the opening Pastry Chef at Ondine in Sausalito. In 2006, she and Jeremy opened Lineage in Brookline. Lisa and Jeremy have three kids which keeps her out of professional kitchens for the moment!