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Vegan restaurant 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe set to open in Copiague

Jay Astafa's caprese salad features house-made cashew-milk mozzarella.

Jay Astafa's caprese salad features house-made cashew-milk mozzarella. It's on the menu at the new 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe in Copiague. Credit: 3 Brothers Cafe

Come Friday, July 31, Long Island vegans will get a restaurant to claim as their own -- 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe in Copiague. Executive chef co-owner Jay Astafa, who has been putting out vegan fare at his family's Farmingdale restaurant, 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe, is once again partnering up with his kinfolk.

At the new restaurant, Astafa will be making his own cheese using cashew milk to make  mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar, and pureed macadamia nuts to create feta, which he cultures and brines. A wood-burning oven will turn out pizzas, to be crafted by his brother Besart. In the kitchen, Astafa will be assisted by his mother, sous chef Sue Astafa. Pastry chef Dani McGrath, who has been making cakes for the Farmingdale restaurant, will be in charge of desserts.

Astafa described the menu as "mostly Italian, with some American comfort food." Products such as soy-based tempeh and seitan (wheat gluten) will stand in for meat. Nothing on the menu exceeds $19. Dishes include oyster mushroom "calamari," a Caprese appetizer of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, a Greek salad featuring macadamia feta, spaghetti and seitan meatballs, seitan Marsala, a BBQ jackfruit panino (the fruit, when cooked, takes on the consistency of pulled pork) and a tempeh Reuben. Astafa said he can adjust recipes for those with dietary restrictions, such as nut allergies and gluten intolerance.

The restaurant is awaiting its wine and beer license. Astafa said he expects to serve organic wine.

 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe is at 1038 Montauk Hwy., Copiague, 631-464-4328

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