Wanted to give a general shout-out and thank everyone who posts, which was a big help in picking restaurants and so forth. The biggest problem was finding enough space in my gullet to cram everything down -- even on a three-day visit you feel like you are only scratching the surfaces. Anyway, my two cents:
Mother's - Ferdi (ham & RB w/ debris) - a bit overpriced, sure, but a tasty sandwich.
Brigtsen's - One hell of a restaurant. Everything was good - rabbit app, seafood platter, my sister had some kind of tuna. Great service, friendly, warm, not outrageously expensive. A real winner - but a little subdued, atmosphere-wise.
Napoleon House - great Pimm's Cup to drink, muffuletta was delish (and huge -- if you want to eat dinner, two people can simply share half of one for lunch). Side of jambalaya unremarkable, not as good as the Zatarain's mix produces.
Commander's - very good value for brunch, three courses for ~$30 plus tax. Pecan crusted redfish insanely good, eggs Jenny solid, but not superb. Appetizers and desserts very good. Atmosphere was a mixed. We liked the courtyard where we had a drink while waiting, but I found the upstairs dining room to be bland and subdued. The waiter (Walter) was very nice but I wouldn't have minded if he dialed back from 9 to 7 or so. Actual service-service was excellent but someone confessed to having given my drink to someone else - kind of surprising.
Our last semi-big meal was at Bourbon House. I really liked the room & the decor, I thought the oyster bar was great, the oysters were mild, tasty, large, w/ attentive service. Service in the main room was kind of off but we were both really pleased w/ the food. I had an etoufee-like crawfish stew, which I loved, and my sister really liked her crab cake.
All told, I would recommend all to various degrees but maybe you can tell which I would recommend depending if you are concerned about service, uniformity of food, atmosphere, etc. I welcome any comments or insight, thanks again for your help.