Our last visit to this establishment was under its previous guise where the food was always reliable but the decor was so clinical, it was like eating in a hospital canteen.
A bit of tasteful wallpaper and a few offbeat exhibits (including a biplane propellor) later, and Number Four has a touch more comfort than its predecessor.
It would have been cruel to compare it to the Michelin-starred Star Inn at Harome, where we recently dined for a special occasion, choosing their excellent-value market menu.
For around the same price (£26 for three courses; or £22 for two), you can buy a decent meal at Number Four, and a visit beforehand to the online Bible of food reviews, Trip Advisor, suggested we’d be in for a good evening.
I’m pleased to say we weren’t disappointed.
I opened with the evening’s “off the cuff” soup, on this occasion tomato and lentil, which was a warm tasty starter on a chilly evening, while my wife Emma chose the Thai fishcakes, with sweet chilli dressing, which was nicely presented and added the right kick.
I was a little disappointed with the shortage of choice for the main course, but the pan-roast fillet of Easington pork with apple and cider puy lentils (plus veg) was as good an option as any.
Emma loved her medium fillet steak, cooked perfectly to her liking, with wild mushroom and garlic sauce, although typically of steak, there was a £5 surcharge.
She said it was a “really nice cut of meat” and was impressed too with the accompanying vegetables, sauteed potatoes and crunchy broccoli.
Other choices included a herb crusted rack of lamb, oven baked salmon with fennel and cherry tomatoes, mixed fish platter, or the vegetarian option of beetroot and goat’s cheese parcels with parsnip pancakes.
We were both fairly full after the first two courses and, not usually being the three-course types, would normally have been happy to leave it there.
But the lure of the breakfast marmalade ice cream – which goes with the tart tatin or with the trio of ice creams – proved too tempting, so I went for the gelati hat-trick, which also featured cinnamon and ginger flavours, all of which were very nice and not too overpowering.
Emma summarised her spiced winter pavlova by saying: “We debated whether to have a dessert – but I’m glad we did” although it was a close call between the pavlova and the white chocolate and lemon curd tart.
Although the restaurant was quiet, with only two other couples in while we were there, we were well looked after by our hostess for the evening, who was attentive, friendly and chatty without being too in-your-face.
It would be nice to return on a livelier evening to see how Number Four contrasts with a drizzly Thursday night in November but the reviews we read on the ‘net were consistently good.
Our own opinion is that it is worth booking if you want somewhere for a homely meal just out of town, especially at this time of year, away from the hustle and bustle of Whitby town centre, which can significantly delay a meal out in a busier part of town.
Ratings out of ten: Food 7; menu choice 8; service 8; decor 7; ambience 6; overall 7.