There aren’t many downtown institutions that had as much chance of being in Rent as in Sex and the City, but Congee Village is one of them. Too many lanterns. Too much bamboo. Too many plants. And an epic menu that makes a CVS receipt look like a Post-it. Congee Village is overboard in that beautiful, delicious, sumptuous way that the city wins over newcomers. Patrons are greeted by an Italian chef statue holding the traditional Chinese New Year greeting wishing happiness and prosperity. Order everything — especially the bok choi, chicken-and-mushroom congee, and salt-and-pepper shrimp. Bring family. Bring friends. Bring strangers. The staff accommodates reservations of groups as large as 80.