Verboten’s Cabaret Bar — A Modern-Day Utopia in Brooklyn

A dystopian-inspired venue becomes the utopia in Brooklyn, offering comforting dishes and ever-changing events in a hip environment.
By Joanne Raymond

Photos by Erin Kestenbaum

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The Cabaret Bar, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, set out to recreate a forbidden (evident in the literal translation to the name Verboten) dystopian-inspired event space and bar. Recreating such a setting and introducing the dystopian experience to those who are unfamiliar, their cocktails are named after dystopian novels and their menu contains unusual cuisine fusions and an untraditional bar menu. The dimly lit environment gives guests a feeling of mystery upon entry, not laced with foreboding, but rather excitement at the adventure to come. By recreating a fun, almost risqué dystopia, Cabaret has created a fun atmosphere that has the potential to be Brooklyn’s event utopia.

cabaret bar

Cabaret should be credited for its creative interpretation of a “posh” utopia. With dark walls, interesting art work, and light music coming from a live DJ, the bar did not fail to represent a dystopian era with aptly named cocktails and flavors. When you visit, help yourself to their charcuterie, cheese, and olive appetizers at the bar and wash down your bites with a 1984 cocktail. Although, be sure to also go for the A Clockwork Orange drink as it seems to be another favorite at the bar. The 1984 cocktail is a mixture of Don Julio Reposado, apple juice and P&H sarsaparilla syrup, while A Clockwork Orange is composed of Jameson Black Barrel, orange soda, fresh lemon juice and angostura bitters.

Signature Drinks

Hungry guests can enjoy the “beat” salad, which consists of roasted baby beets, pickled onions, goat cheese yogurt and daikon or a paella spring rolls, filled with chorizo, rice, olives and saffron seafood bisque. A sure favorite on the menu is a Spanish poutine, rich flavors and a fun combination of cuisines make it addictive. Devour the dish made up of patatas bravas, rope vieja, manchego and roasted pepper aioli. Be sure not to skip the golden pretzel bun carnivore sliders, with bacon infused beef, bone marrow and aged cheddar. Who knew bar and event food could be so great?

Patatas Bravas Poutine

Many of the dishes at Cabaret have a delicious amount of greasy comfort and richness, while the charcuterie board and “beat” salad keep things refreshing. Enjoy their play on a dystopian world while you get lost in a world of music, events, and great food and drink to accompany.

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If only there were more “forbidden” menus like this in NYC and winter would not seem so “cold” with these warm and comforting plates in front of us.

Joanne Raymond

Joanne was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She holds a degree in Anthropology from SUNY Purchase and is currently pursuing a Master's in Publishing at Pace University. A literature and creative arts enthusiast, Joanne is also an avid lover of food from worldly destinations. When she's not lagging in the city streets searching for cheap and mouthwatering eats, she drowns herself in literary submissions from talented aspiring authors.

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