Viva La Vegan

Oyster mushroom calamari

Veganism, a word once synonymous with outlandish hippie ideals, yoga retreats and meditation circles is beginning to proliferate everyday discourse, becoming more widely accepted and practiced by the masses, particularly on Long Island.

The newest addition to the scene is the latest creation by the 3 Brothers franchise. Leona & 3 Brothers, located at 152 Union Ave. in Lynbrook, officially opened its doors on June 21, joining the existing Farmingdale-based 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe and Copiague’s 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe.

While the regular menu presents desirable classic seafood and Italian dishes like lobster ravioli, linguine with clams and shrimp parmesan, many patrons, whether vegan or not, have been opting for the cruelty-free menu items. Included are pasta dishes and entrées that substitute dairy with nut-based cheeses and meat with seitan (derived from wheat gluten) and cauliflower.

For appetizers, there’s the caprese, made using cashew milk mozzarella; the eggplant rollatini, with cashew milk ricotta; the oyster mushroom “calamari,”(pictured) swapping squid for oyster mushrooms; and the buffalo cauliflower; consisting of fried cauliflower, buffalo sauce and a housemade bleu cheese. It is difficult to differentiate the vegan pasta dishes from the regular ones, with the almond ravioli, almond cannelloni, penne vodka and pasta primavera looking and tasting similar to their meat and dairy-based counterparts.

The main courses, certainly not lacking protein, include the seitan marsala, served over yukon gold mashed potatoes, haricot verts and mushrooms; the cauliflower steak, with kale and salsa verde; the seitan cacciatore; and eggplant “parmesan.” While the standard menu items present more choices than a vegan is accustomed to, the lineup of unique specials each night make deciding what to order an even greater feat.

Bon appétit (without meat). For more information, visit www.leona3brothers.com.

Nicole Lockwood
Nicole Lockwood is the former editor of the Syosset Jericho Tribune and New Hyde Park Illustrated News.

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