LOWER EAST SIDE — A Chinese restaurant praised by publications like the New York Times and New York Magazine has been shut down by the health department after it found evidence of live rats, cockroaches, filth flies and other violations last week, records show.
Congee Chinese Restaurant failed its Sept. 19 inspection and received 65 violation points, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website.
In addition to the pests, the agency found that food had not been stored at proper temperatures and that surfaces that came into contact with food had not been properly cleaned and sanitized after each use, records show.
The restaurant’s owners were not immediately available for comment.
Congee, located on the Bowery between Grand and Hester streets, was known for its namesake rice porridge, which a 2003 New York Times review called “outstanding.”
The restaurant also is known for an extensive menu with more than 200 items, according to a 2010 Time Out New York write-up.