Located in midtown, down the street from Bloomingdales, MarX restaurant focuses on comfort food with a dynamic twist. Chef James Sanders has created a unique menu of small plates offering everything from chorizo popcorn to pan seared duck breast. The restaurant has a comfortable feel, a great upstairs bar area with live jazz and a fun food themed assortment of children’s cloths and accessories picked out by owner Marc Roth’s wife.

When I met my friend there for a late dinner last week, we were immediately seated and offered cocktails. I started the meal with a citrus martini—light and refreshing after a long day. The menu is divided into four sections: snacks, small plates, more small plates and entrees. My friend and I decided to pick a couple snacks and some small plates to get a feel for the chef’s creativity.

Chorizo Popcorn

We started with the chorizo popcorn with maple butter. Though the flavors were well balanced and the concept was clever, it was a little messy and hard to figure out how to eat. The waitress was nice enough to bring us wet naps, but it still wasn’t something I would necessarily order again. Next came the goat cheese rissoles with fig preserves—one of my favorite parts of the meal. The goat cheese had been rolled into balls, deep fried and served on top of the fig preserves, creamy and sweet with a slight crunch … yum.

Duck Meatballs

Being a bit of a duck-a-holic I had to try the duck meatballs served with a Michigan cherry demi glace. Though the presentation was fun, the flavors were not my favorite since the duck meatballs were slightly dry and the demi glace seemed slightly burnt. But, my friend loved them, so maybe I’m just a duck snob?

Next was the tuna tartare, which was quite refreshing after the heavier fare we had already enjoyed. Mixed with avocados and a salty/sweet soy sauce and served on top of cooling cucumbers, the tuna was perfectly seasoned and fresh.

Our last dish was the trio of kobe beef sliders. The sliders came cooked perfectly medium rare with three different topping combinations: blue cheese and caramelized onions, pico de gallo avocado and goat cheese and cheddar and bacon. The pico de gallo was my favorite with the creamy avocado and melted goat cheese pairing perfectly with the spicy salsa.

We finished off our meal with a cup of chocolate/vanilla swirled soft serve ice cream…such a fun idea for a dessert menu.

The restaurant offers lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and brunch on Saturdays.

208 E 58th St.

—Amy Matlock