The Great Outdoors Editor's Letter 2016

Get fresh (air) with us this June

My editor's letters are typically blasé, straightforward previews of what's in store for the month, content-wise, from the very smart and very talented editorial team at Tasting Table. Well, get ready friends, because I'm already over the confines of summer content, and it's only June 1.

Instead of waxing poetic about all the outdoorsy coverage we're going to do this June for our Great Outdoors month—like a gorgeous camping guide and an under-the-stars dinner party and some really sweet Father's Day stuff—here's what's got a bee under my proverbial bonnet:

• New York City restaurants are delusional if they continue to think that they're the best in the world. The most thoughtful, flavorful and nuanced meals I've had of late have been in Houston (Oxheart, Underbelly) and Boston (Loyal Nine, Shepard)—and all have been heads and (ox)tails above what I've had in the Big Apple. I know it's tied to real estate prices and a crapload of other factors, but wake up and smell the tomato fondant-cloaked poached cucumber and wood-fired clams with cultured nasturtium butter: There's a lot more to life than steak tartare and burrata, and NYC restaurants should start to wisen up to it. In the meantime, let's all celebrate some of these smaller cities where truly exciting things are happening.

 Stop with the vegetable-forward already (I'm mostly looking at you, publicists). It's not that I have a problem with eating this way: I actually don't eat a lot of meat as a general rule, so I enjoy that chefs are using more produce and in interesting ways. But the term itself is getting tired—and on its way to being the next farm-to-table, which, as we all know, means zilch. PS: People around the world have been eating this way for, like, pretty much forever, so let's stop pretending eating a lot of vegetables with a little meat is something new.

 We've gotta shoot higher than the next novelty food item. We've been guilty of it here at TT, with pieces on these weird but really cool marble cakes and such, but if I have to read that a unicorn poop dessert is the next rainbow bagel is the next crazy milkshake captured by a billion hapless Instagrammers, I might scream. I do not want to eat green moss and ice cream, Karen I am.

• The word alfresco. I'm sorry (not sorry), but every time I see alfresco in a piece about outdoor dining, I want to scream. NO ONE says this word out loud. When was the last time you said to a friend, "I'm in the mood for an alfresco brunch." Never.

KP out for now. Should you need me, I'll be at a 305 Fitness class. Because even if I've already written off summer content, I'm all about that summer bod.

Respectfully yours,

Karen Palmer

Editorial Director