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New Restaurant And Bar Openings: Sausage Inc., HaChi, Calle Ocho

<em>Tony Matelli, "Double Meat Head" (<a href="http://colormekatie.com">Katie Sokoler</a>/Gothamist)</em><br/><br/><strong>Sausage Inc.:</strong> At the very nexus of this season's most popular eateries—high quality, fattening, nostalgic, one-item specialty digs—is the resurrection of the hot dog as something worth wanting, eating—about which we should be discerning. <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/06/16/new_restaurant_and_bar_openings_7.php#photo-2">Bark</a> fed us gussied-up ball park basics in Brooklyn and now Sausage Inc. picks up in Greenwich Village with their own sizable sausages. <br/><br/>The menu presents only five options: all sausage, all sauteed onions, and all pretzel rolls with the promise of no chemicals and no MSG. There is the Farmer Sausage (beef and bacon), the Blanco (pork and basil), the Chipolata (pork and chipotle), the Thanksgiving (turkey, stuffing, and cranberry) among others. They're served alongside self-saucing options both familiar and unconventional, including Honey Mustard, Sweet Chili Butter, Homemade Relish, Cheese Fondue and more. For around $6 per wiener sandwich, you'll lose sight of why our ancestors griped about dirty water dogs in the first place. <em>(Elyssa Goldberg)</em><br/><br/><em>106 University Place, (212) 484-4344</em>


<strong>HaChi: </strong>What we have here is two levels of slickly lit Asian-Fusion lounging, right on the Lower East Side. Somehow, given where the neighborhood's gone, we suspect HaChi (Japanese for lucky number 8) will do just fine on Orchard Street, with its late-night menu, plush banquettes, and items like Calamari Martini with 72 hour vodka marinade served with spicy aioli. As if that wasn't enough to lure in the fabulous party people, we're told they'll soon be doing live music every week, a happy hour <em>and</em> a reverse happy hour (which we suspect is just like a regular happy hour, but with one-for-two drinks?).<br/><br/> There's a wide selection of sushi, and other options on the French-influenced menu include Japanese Soft Shell Crab with Napa Cabbage, Pear and Coriander Salad, Ginger Vinaigrette, Wasabi Aioli, Mango Salsa ($10); Asian Pear Salad Frisee with Toasted Pine Nuts, Orange Segments, Red Grapes, Ginger Vinaigrette ($8); and Diver Sea Scallops with Truffle Mushroom Risotto and Crispy Leeks ($16). "We may be a bit more chic and upscale at first sight, but we’re really more about casual fine dining," insists general manager Brandon Gross.<br/><br/><em>185 Orchard Street, open 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.</em>


<strong>Calle Ocho: </strong>The UWS Latin-fusion eatery with the greatest circular large-party table in all the land is soft-reopening in a new location around the corner at the Excelsior Hotel. Apparently not much else will be changing since Calle Ocho's formula has been working since 1998, which is good news for the boozy brunch set. Sangrias here are where the fun's at. With seven options from the Sangria Bar including exotics like Havana Banana (coconut rum, creme de banana, coconut, banana, lychee), the red Mulata (spiced rum, tamarind, vanilla), and the Tropical (light rum, triple lemongrass, lemons, passion fruit), we understand how an explicitly written rule like "Pour from the Pitcher, Not From the Barrel" could become really relevant really quickly. <em>(Elyssa Goldberg)</em><br/><br/><em>45 West 81st Street, (212) 873-5025</em>