Just had two days in New Orleans this time around. Sunday brunch at Commander's was quite good, with decent service and quality food. Monday lunch was at Nor Joe's, since Central Grocery is closed on Monday and I had to have a muffaletta. While I wouldn't necessarily rate theirs ahead of Central's, my wife thought they were better and I ran into a fellow from Slidell who swore they were much better than Central's. Guess I need to do a blind taste test next time.
The coup de grace was dinner at Stella! on Monday night. I've withheld comment for over a week as I wanted to fully digest (pun intended) the experience. I think I can now safely say that it was the best meal of my life. Service was impeccable and every bite seemed to provoke a "Wow!" We were slightly disappointed that they would only serve the tasting menu if the entire party ordered it (understandable, as it would have upset the timing of the servings had one person ordered ala carte), so we just went ala carte and that may have been a better choice as we both loved our dishes (wife had a crab infused sheepshead and I went with the porcini-encrusted veal tenderloins). If my praise of Commander's seems a bit tempered, it's because the cost of the meal at Stella! was only a few dollars more and vastly superior.
Warm thanks to the New Orleans regulars who recommended the above restaurants!