A modern Mexican restaurant open since December in the Grove mixed-use development, Verdad is a stunning addition to Austin’s culinary scene. (It comes from the group that also owns Perry’s Steakhouse and Carve American Grill.) The extensive menu offers quite an array of starting nibbles, from savory grilled oysters in a cheesy garlic cilantro lime crust to creamy pinto bean hummus with pomegranate seeds, smoked pepitas, and crispy fried plantains— a definite culinary improvement on your standard bean dip and corn chips. The fresh hamachi ceviche in a pineapple kombucha jus provides a perfect preamble to any of several standout entrées. We were quite taken with the chargrilled octopus with guajillo glaze (accompanied by onions, peppers, and a zesty chipotle tomatillo salsa), also with the braised pork enchiladas with salsa verde (green chiles and tomatillos) wrapped in blue and white heirloom-corn tortillas and topped with Monterey Jack. The garlic shrimp fajitas were nicely smoky, tucked into house-made corn tortillas along with sautéed poblano chiles and onions. Cocktails were on point, particularly the smoky mezcal house margarita. And if there is a lull in the conversation at your table, take a minute to look at the restaurant’s outstanding design, with two patios, fun floors and light fixtures, and a thoroughly modern feel.