I think it’s safe to say that this is the going to be the strangest story I’ve ever told. It was going to be a short review of a new restaurant- The Atlantic Bistro in Marion, but in the blink of an eye it turned into a pretty good answer to mankind’s eternal question –Why Are We Here?

Hopefully by now I’ve got your interest peaked in reading the rest of the story. But as I said, this is still a restaurant review, so let me start there.

The Restaurant Review

The Atlantic Bistro sits just off of Route 6 in Marion. It use to be The Sippican Cafe. The Sippican was good, but noisy. They closed down shortly after The Brewfish Bistro opened – likely due to the stiff competition.

Although we talked about going, we never did until last night (for some unexplained reason – fate.)

Courtesy of The Atlantic Bistro

We seldom dine out on Tuesdays, but our kitchen was unavailable for the night so I booked a reservation for 6:30. We were ready to go early (around 5:00) and I called and the receptionist said we couldn’t get a table early, but we were welcome to eat at the bar (for some strange reason – the restaurant wasn’t crowded).

The bar is intimate and probably sits ten. I checked out the wine list and saw they had Textbook Cab by the glass ($14), so I decided to have a martini and then a glass of Textbook with dinner.

I was instantly impressed when the bartender took a large martini glass out of the freezer…

The Gray Goose Martini was equally impressive – complete with Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives…

The Food

It’s got a true bistro menu – not too long, but enough variety for any palette and budget.

No surprise, Mrs. Horne started with the Caesar ($9)…

The Caesar at The Atlantic Bistro Marion

I love the baby leaves and white anchovies.

She also had the Prince Edward Island Mussels ($16)…

The P.E.I. Mussels at The Atlantic Bistro Marion

These are prepared with a rich combination of Housemade Chorizo, Cannellini Beans, and Citrus Marinated Onions. The Cilantro Grilled Bread was perfectly toasted and the two large pieces were more than enough to sop up the luscious broth.

I went with the Bistro Steak ($32)…

The Bistro Steak at The Atlantic Bistro Marion

The steak was perfectly medium rare and full of flavor. The shoestrings were hot and crispy and somehow they found baby asparagus that matched the shape of the potatoes.

The glass of Textbook perfectly accompanied the steak and mussels…

Mrs. Horne and I have been searching for a new restaurant since Turk’s decided to make the plexiglass in the bar permanent. I’m happy to say we have found it and it’s The Atlantic Bistro.

Why are we here?

As Paul Harvey would say… “And now for the rest of the story!”

No one knows why we’re here. It could be to cook fine meals for my friends, take them boating, or write this blog. But I doubt it.

Every now and then God sends us a message to remind us we’re here to honor Him and to serve as His hands and feet here on earth. By my own count, I have serendipitously saved eight lives in 60+ years and each one has reminded me why I’m here.

As we were about halfway through our entree, we heard a woman next to us cry out for help. The man she was with was clearly chocking and she was pounding on his back. That did nothing and she tried to give him the Heimlich, but he was big and she was small. He suddenly slumped head first onto the bar – he was passing out!

Mrs. Horne looked at me and screamed “GO!” and I went.

I shoved the young lady aside and administered a proper Heimlich – with my fist pointed inward and pulling upward with all the strength my 200 pound body could muster.

On the second blow snot flew out of his nose and mouth and the woman (who turned out to be his daughter) said “Stop, he’s talking.”

He was in rough shape but quickly straightened himself up and left the scene as soon as possible.

It turned out he was the grandfather of one of the employees. Everyone in the restaurant showed incredible gratitude for what was pure adrenaline and instinct on my part. Even the owner came over to thank me personally.

I needed no thanks, my faith was renewed and the answer to question “why am I here” was answered once again.


There were an incredible number of “twists of fate” that had to come together to put me in that exact spot at that precise time.

  1. We never dine out on a Tuesday night.
  2. We’ve never dined at The Atlantic Bistro before.
  3. We arrived early (otherwise we won’t have arrived when the gentleman choked).
  4. We sat next to him at the bar – even though there were plenty of empty tables.
  5. I confidently knew what to do to save him – despite never having had any CPR training. I had saved my choking granddaughter using the Heimlich in April and I’ve studied it extensively ever since.

This morning I’m walking on clouds and thanking God for being part of His plan,

Do yourself, your friends, your family, and your crew a favor – learn CPR.