Italian Classics Are Meat And Dairy Free At LI’s Only Vegan Restaurant

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VeganRestaurantBVegetarian Awareness Month is the perfect time to try 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe on Montauk Highway in Copiague, Long Island’s only all-vegan restaurant.

At this offshoot of 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe in Farmingdale, every Italian classic is made from plant-based ingredients. In fact, the eatery even makes its own homemade cheese from nuts.

The vegan menu features appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pastas, entrées, wood-fired pizzas and house-made desserts. “What sets 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe apart from all other vegan restaurants is that we have our own in-house vegan cheese program,” said Jay Astafa, the vegan chef and owner of his eponymous catering business. “Our pizzas and dishes feature our house-made cheeses. We make all of our cheeses, such as our fresh cashew milk mozzarella, cashew milk cheddar, cashew Parmesan, macadamia feta, cashew-tofu ricotta and cashew blue cheese.”

The wood-fired pizzas and other specialties at 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe feature their home-made nut cheeses.
The wood-fired pizzas and other
specialties at 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe feature their home-made nut cheeses.

The original restaurant, 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe, started as a standard Long Island pizzeria—named for the restaurant owner’s three sons—until 2009 when one of the three brothers, Jay Astafa, created a vegan menu for his dad’s restaurant. 3 Brothers continued to serve all the traditional meat and cheese dishes, but also offered the plant-based alternatives that the young vegan chef created.

VeganRestaurantEAstafa’s vegan menu has become so popular that the Farmingdale location evolved into a destination. “We’ve been serving our popular vegan menu at 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe for six years now,” said Astafa. “[Now] that restaurant is 70 percent vegan.”

So, why open another restaurant that only serves a vegan menu? “We felt it was time to expand with an all-vegan restaurant,” said Astafa. “There’s no all-vegan restaurant on Long Island, which makes 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe the only [one].”

This vegan version of veal Marsala is made from seitan.
This vegan version of veal Marsala is made from seitan.

Less than three months ago, on July 31, 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe was born. “The location was selected randomly by my dad,” the chef said.

The entrance looks like a typical take-out pizza place, but as guests turn to the right, an intimate dining room is revealed. Many of the menu selections seem familiar from the 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe, including its Famous Mozzarella Sticks made from Daiya Mozzarella, but there are also plenty of decadent new appetizers, such as Buffalo Cauliflower, Tofu “Crab” Cakes, Oyster Mushroom “Calamari” and Fried Mac N Cheese Balls served with truffle aioli and coconut “bacon.”

The Seitan Parmesan tastes as good as it looks. (Photo by Sheri ArbitalJacoby)
The Seitan Parmesan tastes as good as it looks. (Photo by Sheri ArbitalJacoby)

Creamy homemade vegan cheeses offer dairy-free twists to entrées including Seitan Parmesan, Eggplant Rollatini and Buffalo Seitan Panini; pasta dishes such as Vegetable Lasagna, Mac & Cheese and Baked Ziti; as well as brick-oven pizzas and calzones with just about any topping you crave.

More sophisticated options include Seitan Piccata, Marsala and Scarpariello. Plus, any of the delicious salads can become a satisfying meal by adding grilled or Buffalo seitan, grilled tofu or avocado.

VeganRestaurantCThe vegan hot spot caters to many dietary needs. “In addition to our vegan menu options, we have a lot of gluten-free and allergy-friendly options,” noted the chef.

So, whether you’re looking to cut down on meat and cheese or have food sensitivities, Long Island’s only vegan restaurant will make you forget you’re swapping out your old Italian favorites.

3 Brothers Vegan Cafe is located at 1038 Montauk Hwy. in Copiague. View the full menu at www.3brothersvegancafe.com or call 631-464-4328.

For a full review of 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe in Farmingdale, see Delicious Italian Comfort Food.


 

Click here to read our feature about Dr. Cow in Brooklyn, the first vegan cheese shop.

Click here for a story about Vege Eats, a vegetarian specialty store in Queens that imports convincing varieties of plant-based “meats.”

Click here for other vegetarian menus on Long Island.

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