Le Procope is the oldest restaurant in Paris and dates to 1686. It boasts an illustrious clientele, including Benjamin Franklin, Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Balzac, Danton and even a young Lieutenant Napoleon.
When I came to Paris in 2001 to celebrate my 40th (I'd always promised myself I would turn 40 in Paris - and I kept that promise) this is where I celebrated. My mom and I made our reservation the day before (by walking in and with me speaking my horrible high school French, but the maitre d' had the good grace NOT to scoff in my face although he may have snickered behind my back afterward), and when we arrived for our dinner, they seated us on the little upper level balcony! The service was wonderful and they really made my birthday extra special in every way possible. Then in 2007 during my first year living in Paris, I took my best friend here on her last night; no balcony table but we ate in a very classicly decorated room and had a delicious meal. I haven't eaten here since but have no reason to suspect the quality has dropped off, despite it being a bit of a tourist attraction.
Located in the 6th arrondissement near the Odéon metro, the restaurant has its main entrance at 13 rue de l'Ancienne Comédie (that's the side with the balcony), but also has a back bar entrance on the tiny Cour du Commerce Saint André (which has really cleaned up its act since the last time I wandered in there, and now boasts more shops and restaurants with little terraces than before). Georges and I were in the neighborhood the other night and took a stroll here. (That's him on the right side of the photo.)
You really know a building in Paris is one of the older pre-Hausmannian ones, when the walls sort of lean OUT into the street like this:
If you're coming to Paris and want to have a special dinner in a very historic place, why not come here? (And yes, they will speak English and will have a menu in English.)