Careme's is back in business. And to celebrate the popular, somewhat-secret restaurant's annual reopening, the management is running a special.

Until Oct. 10, Careme's - the unadvertised, student-run, gourmet restaurant at the Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing - is offering a three-course dinner special for $19.99 per person, plus tax and tip.

That deal, which includes an appetizer, entree and dessert, was a hit when it hit the tables for the first time this fall semester.

"It's a little hectic be-cause it's opening night," said Danays Alvarado, the group-sales manager, as the restaurant went live with its latest crew Friday.

"We usually kick off the season with a special," she said, and word of mouth - plus an email to everyone on the Atlantic Cape Community College campus, where the ACA and Careme's are located - traditionally fill up the restaurant's 65 seats that opening night.

"We're very popular. We have a following," Alvarado said, although she added it's easier to get a reservation Monday through Thursday than it is on Friday.

Careme's is open weekdays while the ACA is in session, typically September to December and January through May. The restaurant also is open for banquets, and Alvarado says they keep the staff busy often, usually on Monday and Tuesday nights.

After the opening special ends Oct. 10, a la carte prices are back in effect. The menu can change daily, but the opening-night choices had entrees ranging from $14 to $18. And another reason why Careme's is a bargain is it's no secret the restaurant is BYOB.

Careme's has been part of the ACA since the cooking school opened in the early 1980s. The restaurant was named in honor of the world's first celebrity chef, Marie-Antoine Careme, who was famed in 19th-century France as "the chef of kings and the king of chefs."

For reservations or more details, see

Contact Martin DeAngelis:

Careme's restaurant

Located in Building M of Atlantic Cape Community College, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing. For more details,

call 609-343-4940 or visit