What to Wear for a Fancy Dinner at Lenoir

By Camille Styles

photos by kristen kilpatrick

It’s no secret that Austin is flush with amazing restaurants, but when it comes to choosing a spot for a truly special night out, there are a few that I return to time and again. Lenoir, with its imaginative prix fixe menu and jaw-dropping vintage chic interiors, is tip top on my list for a date night out with Adam or a birthday dinner with girlfriends. Since the menu is inspired by “hot weather food” (more on that below) I figured I’d better dress the part, and this lace minidress will definitely be on rotation through the HOT months that are coming for us in Texas. Read on for the outfit details and my favorite picks from Lenoir’s menu.

Just beyond this eclectic host stand area is one of the coolest outdoor wine gardens in town. Lenoir is one of those rare places that feels special and elevated but is somehow also totally casual (which is so Austin.) Even though my lacy number felt at home this time around, another night might find me in jeans and a linen tank and that would feel just right here, too.

Okay, so about that “hot weather food.” Husband and wife team Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher explain:

It’s important to think about what we eat in relation to where we live — and it’s hot in Texas. Historically, when you look at cultures that live in hot parts of the world, food is acidic, citrusy, brothy and spicy because that’s what works with the climate. So we emulate that and keep it light: very little butter, cream and gluten. It’s food that works with the climate. It’s good for your body. It’s good for the heat. It’s Hot Weather Food.

The menu is broken into “Field” (vegetarian), “Sea,” (seafood), “Land” (meat), and “Dream” (dessert), and you can choose your own 3-course adventure with any combination of any of the items – which is great if you want to eat all vegetarian or incorporate a little fish, which is what I often do. On a recent visit, I ordered:

  • warm tallow-roasted carrots with peanut paté & carrot top gremolata
  • heirloom tomato with oaxacan hominy salad, chèvre velveeta & black olive oil
  • summer squash roasted fish with peanut milk tom kha & charred squash
  • coco leche cake with chocolate ice cream, peanut honeycomb, & chocolate mint


And here’s what I wore! In the summer months, I love the ease of an embellished mini dress – this one needs very little accessorizing, which means I can pull it on and get out the door without overthinking it.

Saylor Rosemary Dress in White Lace

Joie Lace-Up Suede Heels (these are on major sale!!)

Clare V clutch (sold out – similar here)

And scroll down to shop my other fave lace dresses of the season!