Hours After a Glowing Review, Three Chefs Leave Outerspace

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On the day after a review in The New York Times declared Outerspace, in Brooklyn, “the restaurant of the summer,” the three chefs who collaborated on its union of Vietnamese and Cambodian cooking pulled out.

Anthony Ha, Sadie Mae Burns and Chinchakriya Un informed the owners of Outerspace, an outdoor venue in East Williamsburg, Wednesday morning that they were immediately terminating the residency they had begun on Memorial Day weekend. Their joint effort had been scheduled to continue through Labor Day.

“We were shocked,” said Wells Stellberger, who owns Outerspace with Molly McIver. “They’re extraordinary, talented people. There were things we just weren’t able to see eye to eye on, and to us, we figured we could solve anything. Nothing was insurmountable.”

Outerspace is an unorthodox restaurant for New York City. Situated in an outdoor pavilion thick with palm fronds and banana leaves placed between picnic tables and patio umbrellas, it may cancel dinner in the event of rain and closes entirely when cold weather sets in. In its first season, last year, it had a different team of chefs cooking food that was familiar and easy to imagine eating on picnic tables — pizza topped with farmer’s market produce, for instance.

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