Vertical Diner, 2280 S. West Temple, was voted restaurant of the month on — a Web site popular for people who cook, eat out and own restaurants. The Vertical Diner, open for the past eight months, is 100 percent vegan and serves only fair-trade, organic teas, chocolates and coffee. The restaurant also uses organic and local produce whenever possible. Owners Ian and Kelsey Brandt also operate Salt Lake City's Sage Cafe. Specialties include Tender Tiger faux chicken strips and the fresh-cut fries, Boca burgers and faux-chicken sandwiches (484-8378).

Orange Julius launched a Pomegranate & Berries Premium Fruit Smoothie in November. The drink has raspberries and pomegranate juice blended with ice. Pomegranate juice has gained popularity due to recent studies touting its antioxidant benefits, according to a company press release. The company also recently made a historical video about Orange Julius inventor Julius Freed, available for viewing on

Bambara, 202 S. Main, is offering a special "Clara's Dream" prixe fixe menu to celebrate the performances of "The Nutcracker" ballet at the Capitol Theatre. The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. before each evening performance from Dec. 7-29. The three-course menu will change nightly, but entrees may include Braised Beef Bourguignonne with Winter Root Vegetables and Nutcracker Prince Pasta or Mother Ginger Curry. The dinner is $28 for adults and $12 for children. The Hotel Monaco offers special "park and play" rates for theatergoers (363-5454 or

Harmons grocery stores are sponsoring Gift Cards for Kindness, a contest to reward people for their special acts of kindness. The public can nominate deserving individuals to receive $100 worth of national brand holiday gift cards and Harmons new gift card. Each Harmons store will chose one winner, and these will be eligible for the grand prize, a $300 Harmons gift card. The contest runs through Dec. 14.