Normand's Restaurant
By YP Contributor

An Icon of the Edmonton Dining Scene

The restaurant business is fickle. Today’s hot spot where everybody goes can be shuttered the next day.

But every city has its local icons, restaurants that evolve to suit changing public tastes without losing touch with what they do best. Restaurants where you’ll find something new and exciting, and the classics you know and love. They are the restaurants where you go to dine, and not just to eat.

In Edmonton, one of those restaurants is Normand’s, a dining fixture for a quarter century. There really is a Normand of Normand’s downtown restaurant. In fact, on any given night Normand Campbell is likely to greet you at the door. And while he’ll answer to the formal Normand, his longtime customers are more likely to just call him Norm.

Norm has been in the restaurant business since he was 16, and had his sights set on owning his own place since he was 18. The Peace River-country native learned the trade at “the school of hard knocks,” from bus boy on up, working mostly as a waiter at a number of Edmonton’s better-known restaurants over the years. In 1988, he married his life and business partner, Lezlie,  and, on March 15, 1989, they opened the doors to Normand’s. Initially a small bistro perfect for a quick bite, it evolved into a true dining room as patrons began to spend hours enjoying his unique menu and extensive wine selection.

You come here for a nice dinner, a couple of hours, some conversation, a bottle of wine, and enjoy. There’s always something on the menu here that you won’t find anywhere else. - Normand Campbell, co-owner
Normand`s, Fine regional dining, excellent wine selection, first-class service.
Owner Normand Campbell will greet you at the door of his iconic downtown Normand's restaurant. Photo supplied.

Fine Dining Without the Stuffiness

How would you categorize Normand’s? Well, it’s fine dining without the shirt-and-tie, white tablecloth stuffiness. It’s regional cuisine with “old school” French touches, such as frogs’ legs and escargot (there are even 14 Renoir prints on the walls, purchased from members of the Renoir family themselves). It’s casual dining with first-class service by experienced wait staff. Basically, it’s uniquely Normand’s.

What Normand’s definitely is not is a place for a quick, cheap meal. “You come here for a nice dinner, a couple of hours, some conversation, a bottle of wine, and enjoy,”says Normand. “There’s always something on the menu here that you won’t find anywhere else.”

Normand`s, Fine regional dining, excellent wine selection, first-class service.
Yes, those are genuine Renoir prints from the Renoir family on the walls of Normand's. Photo supplied.

Wild Game Always on the Menu

Normand’s is perhaps best known for its wild game dishes. “I used to do the wild game menu mid-October to November, and that was it. But now I have some game dishes on the menu — bison rib eye steak, pheasant, duck — on the menu every night,” he says.

Signature dishes include wild mushroom soup, rack of lamb, roast duck, chicken shrimp curry and stuffed pheasant, “dishes that are so good I’ll never change them,” says Normand.

The menu is extensive, which Norm admits was not his intention. “I painted myself into a corner. I could always add a dish, but I could never take one off. The customers demanded the items stay,” he says.

Normand’s is open for lunch and dinner, but don’t expect you can just drop by and find a table for dinner on any night. Reservations are strongly recommended — and if you reserve online, Norm himself will call to confirm the reservation.

And, don’t worry about a dress code. You’ll never find Norm wearing a tie, either.

Normand`s, Fine regional dining, excellent wine selection, first-class service.
Normand's has been a downtown landmark for a quarter century. Photo supplied.
Close menu