i try not to comment on food posts as i have a food business but were not a restaurant so im going to stick my 2p in.
for your age group and your food preferences i would say Estbeck house. it truly is fantastic. David one of the owners really does know his wines, the wine menu is immense and very thorough all the tasting notes and advice you could want (all Australian)
Tim the other owner who cooks is also fantastic at his craft. We go twice a year as a end of season treat and its always been unbelievable..
only downside is its about 2mile outside of whitby in Sandsend. (£3.80 ish a taxi)
I have also eaten in Greens many times and again it was fantastic and it has a town centre location, Rob the chef has won numerous awards for his food. But i think Estbeck just nudges ahead.
As for bad reports on trip advisor you can generally read between the lines and see whose a moaning minnie, The problem high quality restaurants have is because the standard is so high, one minor mistake can cause reviewers to seriously rate a place down a few extra stars. Sometimes people hear about reputation and enter a place looking for faults.
saying all that I have just had the £12.95 3 course special in the moon & sixpence today, and it was brilliant for the price, again a nice place but head to sandsend if its a special occasion.