Ballo HighIf you’re looking for the perfect place to celebrate a birthday with 20 of your closest friends, I’ve found it: Ballo (445 N. Dearborn St.), the new Italian eatery that doubles as a nightclub, by Alex Dana and Joe Farina of Rosebud fame. The food includes wood oven–baked pizzas, house-made pastas, and a caprese salad with mozzarella. But after midnight, eating plays second fiddle here to the shaking of booties under the disco ball in the center of the room. As the night gets later and the music pumps louder, the crowd resembles something plucked from an episode of Sex and the City, with more drinking than eating going on, and scene-sters pressing the flesh. The word is definitely out: on one recent night, Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush and The Apprentice’s Bill Rancic were slapping high-fives in a booth by the window.
Jennifer Aniston was having cocktails and smoking up a cloud storm at The Peninsula Chicago with a friend, where she stayed while filming The Break Up. . . . Either Jeremy Piven has a weak bladder or his recent Emmy nom for “Entourage” has already gone to his head: while at Rockit Bar & Grill recently he budged a friend of mine in line for the bathroom, saying only, “I’m next.” . . . I partied with the celebs who came to town for Challenge for the Children. Former members of ‘N Sync who started the benefit in 1999-Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick-along with actors Shannon Elizabeth, Beverly Mitchell, David Gallagher, Donald Faison, Taye Diggs, Shondrella Avery, and Alfonso Ribeiro and football players Roy Williams and Brian Urlacher, bowled at 10pin and b-balled at Allstate Arena. And some even boozed it up at Rockit and Le Passage, where I did shots with ‘N Sync’s Kirkpatrick.