Food + Dining Main

Get to Know Venezuela the Right Way

A trip to Fusion 212 in Estero can give you a taste of Caracas and all of its varied culinary influences.

BY May 29, 2018


Sadly, the news cycle of late for a certain oil-rich South American country has been dominated by less-than-savory headlines—runaway inflation, riots and corruption, plus a sham election to boot. 

Which is why it feels pretty nice to report on something Venezuelan that’s not related to any of the above: Southwest Florida now has a new restaurant, Fusion 212, which opened in May, serving the cuisine of its owners’ native Caracas. The 212 represents the area code of the city where the owners had lived, and the name is also a nod to how European, African and Native culinary traditions melded in their home country to create unique dishes, such as pabellón criollo (a meaty black bean stew with rice) and asado negro (a beef roast braised in wine).

Its opening is a continuation of how flavors from across the Latin world have finally begun to flourish in Southwest Florida. In the past decade, there has been an explosion of Peruvian and Cuban places; we also have a few Argentine spots, a Brazilian one, and a Colombian and Costa Rican, too. Now, this Venezuelan bistro has joined the ranks. It’s novel in more ways than one, as Fusion 212 is on a spoke of the Miromar Outlets axis in Estero (if you’re familiar with the lay of that land, it’s near Bloomingdale’s). Malls are usually not where you’d expect to find the area’s only homage to a particular ethnicity’s cuisine, but this is another piece of favorable news we’ll take.


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