Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fusion's Winning Combination(s)

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fusion's Winning Combination(s)

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA CAPITANO

I visit a lot of drinking establishments on this entertainment beat, and so I'm thrilled when a place offers this cocktail connoisseur a surprise. Combining wine and fine Italian espresso is not a recipe I'd ever considered before settling on a black leather sofa at Fusion Art, Wine and Jazz last week. But, my friends, that place makes it work.

The interesting drink, La Hora Cero, is one of Fusion's five specialty champagne infusion offerings. It features the bubbly stuff, some port wine and a shot of the esteemed illy espresso. (Fusion, Bistro Aix, Biscottis and bb's are among the handful of illy vendors in Jacksonville). The Havana, a mixture of champagne and pineapple juice, is also a popular choice, particularly with the ladies, Fusion staff informed me.

Plus, it's no secret that drinks taste better when consumed in a pleasing atmosphere, and Fusion, new to Springfield in November, has no shortage of admirable ambience. A 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood stands as a proud street- side landmark. The grand and shining espresso machine at the bar serves as a charming focal point of the stylish wine lounge. Crystal chandeliers and quality glassware add to a sophisticated vibe, furniture is arranged to facilitate conversation and local art gives life to the walls. Even the ceiling was put to good use, covered with open, black umbrellas, with an occasional red one. The umbrella display came to the owner in a dream about his father, who was madly superstitious about opening umbrellas indoors.

Fusion's wine list features sparkling wines, dessert wines and plenty of reds and whites - and the list is very approachable - containing Coppola, Ravenswood, Beringer and similarly familiar names. Only a few varieties are available by the glass, however, so visit with enough people to tackle a bottle. …

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