Just spent 6 days in NOLA, my third visit - have narrowed the food priorities down, and will spend a food-focused 3 nights/4 days the next time.
The highlights of recent trips:
Felix's - best for oysters, only because there's always a frickin' line at Acme. Hop on a barstool, make friends with the bartender, and look down your nose at tourists who don't know how to mix their own dippin' sauce. The beer choice doesn't matter - they all taste about the same (weak ass!) but they do wash the "ersters" down nicely.
Mother's - best for breakfast, and oooh boy! On my most recent trip, had breakfast there 3 times, each time the same: the crawfish ettouffee omelet (unless you love them, just say "no grits"). After the first time, I barely ate the egg part and just dunked the world's best buttermilk biscuit into the ettouffee and was very very happy.
Bacco - nicely Italian and a step above most tourist traps. Decent pasta, salads, and unusual sorbetti/gelati. They didn't make a fuss, just helped us celebrate a birthday quietly and with a comp hunk of tiramisu.
Commander's Palace - my first and only time there; intimidating environment, but not as snooty as it first appears. Had some nummy quail, but didn't see the big hoopla about the shrimp remoulade. Didn't have it, but saw it made tableside twice and will definitely try the Bananas Foster next trip.
Clancy's - MY FAVORITE! All the wonderful diversity and quality of Commander's in a quieter, more intimate and inviting setting. WAY off the beaten path, and you'll think the cabbie is lost, and me nuts, until you step inside and read the deceptively brief menu. Go with your instincts - and the oysters with brie is as good as it sounds.
Bella Luna - posh Italian in a romantic setting...it was a couple trips ago, so details are sketchy, but nice place for a twosome.
Uglesich's - admittedly, I've never eaten there. This last trip was determined, but weekday lunches only and a Monday holiday interfered. Next trip, it's my first lunch stop for a po'boy.
Surprisingly, I made it out of NOLA without a beignet this time...only a bit disappointed about that.