Some special occasions deserve a budget-busting dinner. Listed below are restaurants with character and ambience where you can expect to spend at least $50 per twosome for a memorable dinner.

AE (American Express), DC (Diners Club), CB (Carte Blanche), MC (MasterCard), V (Visa) and C (Choice). All restaurants listed are licensed to serve spirits, wine and beer. "Reservations" indicates that they are required for any occasion.

Four Ways Restaurant, 1701 20th St. NW (corner Connecticut Ave. and R Street) 483-3200. Dinner hours: 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night. Sunday buffet brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V. Free valet parking. Reservations recommended. Price range: $19 to $24 per entree with garnish and vegetable, pre-theater dinner $19.50 per person, Friday and Saturday gourmet evenings offer five-course dinners for $29 per person. Reservations required for gourmet evenings. Specialties: contemporary French cuisine, such as sole and salmon woven together with creamed onion and tomato butter, grilled rack of lamb, breast of chicken with sea scallops and an extensive menu of appetizers and desserts.

Jacqueline's Restaurant, 1990 M St. NW. 785-8877. Dinner hours: 6 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V, C. Free parking in the PMI parking garage across the street. Reservations. Price range: $13.25 to $18.95. Complete dinner (three courses) $18.50. Price range for dinner entrees in Rick's Cafe' $5.95 and up. French cuisine. Specialties: carre d'agneau aux herbes de Provence (rack of lamb with herbs of Provence), l'assiette du Boucher (one filet of each of lamb, veal and beef topped with tarragon sauce, cream sauce with morel mushrooms, and light pepper sauce), shrimp sauteed with dill, served with a light butter sauce, la coupe la vie en rose (raspberry sherbet topped with strawberries and cream of cassis liqueur).

Jockey Club, 2100 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 659-8000. Dinner hours: 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every night. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V. Free valet parking at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Reservations. Price range: $19.50 to $25 per entree. Specialties: crab cake Jockey Club, nightly fish special, such as sea bass, scalloped salmon, Dover sole; roast rack of lamb, chateaubriand, filet mignon, pepper steak, calf's liver, lamb chops and roast breast of duck with green peppercorn sauce.

The John Hay Room, Hay-Adams Hotel, 800 16th St. NW. 638-6600. Dinner hours: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V, C and the Hay-Adams card. Free valet parking. Reservations. Price range: $14.50 to $20 with garnish and vegetable. Specialties: Continental cuisine, such as escalope of veal sauce bercy, medallions of lamb in tarragon, roast of the day carved at the table, bali hai (floating island egg dish with exotic fruits), seville orange blossom cream.

Maison Blanche, 1725 F St. NW. 842-0070. Dinner hours: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. Cards: AE, MC, V, DC, CB. After 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday, free valet parking. Reservations advisable. Price range: $15 to $25. Pre- and post-theater dinner served from 6 to 7 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m. for $17.95. Specialties: French cuisine, Dover sole, rack of lamb with vegetables, duck with raspberry sauce, filet mignon, New York strip steak with bearnaise or bordelaise sauce.

Tiberio Ristorante, 1915 K St. NW. 452-1915. Dinner hours: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Cards: AE, DC, CB, MC, V. Free valet parking. Reservations advisable. Price range: $16.95 to $28 per entree. Specialties: Italian cuisine, agnolotti, linguine with Maine lobster, veal osso buco, scampi, tirami su (dessert made of mascarpone cheese mixed with zabaglione -- whipped egg -- on ladyfingers with marsala wine). Extensive wine list.