Good news for the little guy: Pizza Junction, a virtually unknown pizzeria in Greenwood Village, won top honors for tossing the Best Pizza in the West at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. The local take-out and delivery-service shop opened in November and won over judges with the Train Wreck pie: sausage, green pepper, onion, pineapple, bacon, Parmesan, mozzarella, and provolone. Pizza Junction, consider yourself discovered. 4666 S. Yosemite St., Greenwood Village, 303-221-4004.

More proof that breakfast is big business. With brunch favorite LoLa gone—until April anyway—South Platt neighbor Black Pearl (1529 S. Pearl St., 303-777-0500) is stepping in to feed the weekend crowds. Starting March 26, the restaurant will serve Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., offering showstoppers such as potent bloody Marys and cheddar-scallion biscuits with fried eggs and maple-sausage gravy.
And just down the street, the old La-Ti-Da space is getting a new name and a new look. Earthy Gaia (1551 S. Pearl St.) plans to open for breakfast, lunch, pastries, and crêpes at the end of April. Owner Patrick Mangold-White says they’re putting the finishing touches on menus, planting gardens in accordance with seasonal menus, pouring the concrete for patios, and installing outdoor sculpture. And he’s hired a chef: Jennifer Koelliker from the popular Samba Room.

Last weekend, home chef Paul M. Smith won Maggiano’s Best Italian Cook Contest with a dish he composed after tasting fresh porcini mushrooms and truffle oil during a trip to Italy. As the contest winner, Smith’s pork tenderloin roulade with porcini mushroom sauce will soon appear on Maggiano’s menu for diners to give it a taste—and do a good deed. With each order, the restaurant donates $2 to the Denver Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Pork Tenderloin Roulade with Porcini Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 large pork tenderloin
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
  • 1/4 pound imported mortadella, sliced thin
  • 1/4 pound imported Italian fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine, preferably Italian
  • 1/3 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 1/2 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butterfly pork tenderloin and flatten with mallet until 1/4 inch. Tenderloin should end up approximately 12″ x 8″. Blend softened butter with truffle oil and divide in half. Keep 1/2 in refrigerator. Lay out tenderloin and spread the first 1/2 of truffle butter, mortadella slices, and fontina, keeping 1 inch from outside edges. With long side facing you, roll tenderloin very tightly and tie with butcher’s string. Dredge tenderloin in seasoned flour.
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides. Remove and place in oven while making sauce. Check tenderloin and remove when it registers 140 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes, covered with tin foil. In a sauté pan, add shallots and cook until softened. Add flour and cook until smooth paste forms. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add mushrooms, sauté until reduced, approximately 5 minutes. Add porcini mushrooms and soaking liquid. Simmer until slightly thickened. Remove string and slice tenderloin on the diagonal, place on platter, and pour sauce over slices.

—Amanda M. Faison

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.