I'm eager to return to NOLA for a visit as I loved everything I ate there when I visited about 6 years ago. Toup's Meatery is one restaurant (which I'm glad to see COVID didn't destroy) where I wanted to order everything on the menu. I hope you try it, love it, and write it about it here so I can live vicariously through you!
P.S. Atchafalaya had a delicious brunch with a Bloody Margarita bar that seems the perfect choice for a leisurely get-together with friends.
P.P.S. The only bug bite prevention I've ever seen work is to stand near a friend that the bugs LOVE. My youngest kid is that "bug attraction" so the rest of us are usually spared.