Best Restaurant Spinoff - 2012
Cafe 46 - CLOSED
Café 46 is to Joe Allen what Rhoda was to Mary Tyler Moore, what The X Factor is to American Idol, what one Rolling Stones album is to the previous one: a spinoff of the same ideas and some of the same players, except with a different name and played on a new stage. The most noteworthy returning player at Café 46 is owner/host/manager Mario Rubeo, the former co-owner/host/manager at Joe Allen, which ended its ten-year run in Miami Beach last year. Mario is the star at this venue (as he was at JA), his energetic congeniality making former Joe Allen patrons feel right at home — while bringing in new fans as well. The menu has hardly changed; the same font announces identical homespun comfort foods: pan-roasted matzo chicken, meatloaf with mashed potatoes, sautéed calf's liver, a damn good hamburger, banana cream pie. Except for two steak offerings, main courses run $12 to $18. Beers and wines are equally budget-friendly. Like Joe Allen, Café 46 would be a great neighborhood restaurant regardless of what neighborhood you put it in. And that's no spin.