Overview: With several Best of Boston accolades under its belt – the most recent of which was Improper Bostonian’s “Best Brookline Neighborhood Restaurant” in 2011 – Lineage has become a Brookline favorite.
Located on Harvard Street in Coolidge Corner, Lineage enjoys a convenient and central location. Co-owners, chefs, and married couple, Jeremy and Lisa Sewell, attribute the restaurant’s namesake to Jeremy’s own family lineage. With a menu which changes daily, Lineage focuses on fresh, healthy, and seasonal cuisine.
Atmosphere: On the restaurant's website, Jeremy Sewell writes, “It is our intention to create a comfortable yet sophisticated dining room, nurturing an atmosphere as inviting as a home with a deep sense of hospitality.” Feeling at home is a relative concept, but Lineage does create an inviting atmosphere that is clean, well-lit and laid-back. The space behind the bar is vast, almost in a disconcerting way, making the bar scene feel more like counter service. The stools’ seats and backs consist of criss-crossed seat belt fabric, adding a funky element to the décor.
Drinks: The restaurant has a full bar, offering classic cocktails and specialties like the Bee Keeper (rye whiskey, honey, coriander, lemon, $9), French 75 (gin, lemon, sugar, sparkling wine, &$8), and Caipirinha (cachaca, lime, sugar). An impressive wine list includes sparkling, white and red options by the glass ($8-$12), half-bottle ($28-$52), and bottle ($31-$110).
Appetizers: The menu, with the exceptions of a few staples, changes daily. The online menu is updated periodically, changing with the season. The most recent incarnation includes heirloom squash and shiitake soup (maple poached cranberries, $8), pan seared foie gras (roasted cippolini onion, oyster mushrooms, brioche, $14), and Island Creek Oysters (cocktail and mignonette sauces, $2.50 each).
Entrées: The main courses provide a variety of seafood, meats, and pasta dishes and also change daily. They include pan seared Rhode Island fluke (whole grain spaetzle, grilled leeks, arugula, red wine butter, $26), Maine lobster gnocchi (roasted poblano peppers, baby spinach, fennel, caramelized onion, $24), and grilled flatiron steak (brown butter potatoes, celery root, Brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, $26).
Desserts: The dessert list includes house made items prepared by pastry chef Lisa Sewell. The most recent online menu offers pear tarte tatin (clove and candied ginger ice cream, $8), butterscotch pudding (whipped cream, candied pecans, $8), warm dark chocolate cake (port ice cream, $8) and a daily sorbet ($7).
Brunch: Served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the brunch menu changes daily, as well. Some of the recent dishes include assorted house made breakfast breads (with jam and maple butter, $7), house made bacon hash (fennel, corn, shiitake mushrooms, poached egg, $14), lobster omelette (crème fraîche, chives, home fries, $14), and vanilla bean French toast (blackberry caramel, candied pecans, $12).
Service: Like its atmosphere, the staff is friendly, low-key and laid-back. The bartender was quick and competent, taking drink and food orders in an efficient and no-nonsense yet warm and amicable fashion. The hostess was kind and accommodating, trying to secure seats in the midst of a busy Friday evening. Even one of the chefs, sliding a pizza into the wood-fired oven, made eye contact and smiled while working on display in the heat.
Address: 242 Harvard Street, Brookline
Hours: Sunday & Monday: 5-9 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday: 5-10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 5-10 p.m.
Sunday brunch: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Chefs and co-owners: Jeremy and Lisa Sewell