Arun's Thai Restaurant in Albany Park has welcomed Michael Dziedzic (Karyn's on Green, Jerry's Sandwiches) to the team as Beverage Director, as they put a major focus on their bar program after over 30 years in service. To further enhance Chicago's iconic Thai fine dining experience, Dziedzic worked closely with James Beard award-winning chef Arun Sampanthavivat to create seasonally-inspired, hand-crafted cocktails to complement Chef Arun's multi-course menu.
On the team addition, Director of Operations Paul JM Schermerhorn said, "Michael Dziedzic has breathed fresh life into the beverage program at Arun's Thai Restaurant, demonstrating a true understanding of both the skill and creativity involved in building a well-rounded, diverse bar program. His cocktails do well all by themselves, but with the cuisine at Arun's, they are a match made in heaven."
"Not only are herbs and spices from Thailand and surrounding areas used, but the flavor of craft spirits and the right combinations were very important elements to the overall taste of the cocktails."
While incorporating his specialties in house made syrups, pickling, and functional ice cubes, Dziedzic's goal with the new cocktails at Arun's was that they meshed flawlessly with the cuisine and had a focus on craft spirits. Dziedzic said, "Not only are herbs and spices from Thailand and surrounding areas used, but the flavor of craft spirits and the right combinations were very important elements to the overall taste of the cocktails. I love playing with ingredients that wouldn't traditionally go together, and my philosophy is to make an accessible cocktail with complex flavors that blend into something pleasant to drink. Each component should shine separately and also come together as a cohesive whole."
Ranging in price from $14 to $17, new winter cocktail highlights include the sweet and spicy Winter in Thailand (dried Mulato pepper and cinnamon stick infused vodka, Thai iced tea, condensed milk, and Bittermens Xocolatl Molé Bitters, garnished with vanilla chai tea whipped cream, smoked sea salt, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters); a soothing green tea cocktail, the Tea-ter Toddy (Jasmine tea, Ransom Old Tom Gin, ginger honey syrup, cream, orange blossom water, Bittermens Orange Cream Bitters, Grand Marnier rinse); and the apple cider-based Franny Smith, enhanced by a Frangelico ice cube that is broken into the drink tableside (Frangelico ice cube, Tanduay Gold Rum, Averna Amaro, cinnamon syrup, Eric Bordelet Tendre Sidre, Bittermens Orange Cream Bitters, and Bar Keep Swedish Herb Bitters).
Lead by world-renowned and James Beard award-winning chef Arun Sampanthavivat, Arun's Thai Restaurant has served a multi-course Thai fine dining experience in Albany Park for over 30 years. The restaurant offers an elevated Thai cuisine that is not only flavorful, but is artistic and visually stunning. Arun's has become an iconic dining destination and was one of only two Chicago restaurants featured in the New York Times bestseller, "1,000 Places To See Before You Die". In 2000, Chef Arun earned a coveted James Beard Foundation Award in the Best Chef Great Lakes category.