PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) just bestowed much amore on 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe in Rockville Centre, terming chef Jay Astafa’s seitan bacon ranch pie “Best Vegan Pizza" in the U.S.
Astafa, who is only 19, is currently a student at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts in Manhattan. He uses grilled seitan, tempeh bacon, tomatoes and Daiya mozzarella (a vegan “cheese” that melts and stretches like the real thing) to create his award-winning pie. An 18-inch pie, which feeds four, goes for $25; a 12-inch personal pie costs $13.
But Astafa's repertoire doesn't end with pizza. While researching an article on vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants, several months ago, I dined at 3 Brothers, which is more than just a pizzeria. Dinner kicked off with oyster mushrooms in a silky, fragrant "'scampi" sauce. A bright Greek salad featured tofu feta cheese, boosted by a lively lemon vinaigrette. Seitan Marsala was architecturally plated with mashed potatoes and spinach.
While the restaurant also offers non-vegan pizza and entrees, it's in the realm of the meatless and dairy-free that you'll find the greatest creativity.
3 Brothers Pizza Pizza Cafe is at 212 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-766-3939.
Pictured: Jay Astafa and his award-winning pizza